Did you know that around 100,000 Aussie families experience perinatal anxiety or depression each year? That’s why PANDA launched Perinatal Depression and Anxiety Awareness Week, which runs from 12 to 18 November 2017.
The week aims to raise awareness of perinatal anxiety and depression. It also shares signs to watch for, and how to get support.
What is perinatal anxiety and depression?
Perinatal refers to the time before and after birth (usually five months before and one month after).
Perinatal anxiety is also commonly referred to as prenatal, antenatal or postnatal anxiety.
Many women around the world experience anxiety and/or depression during and after pregnancy. In fact, it affects one in five new mums, and one in ten new dads.
What does pregnancy anxiety feel like?
There are many common signs and symptoms of anxiety during pregnancy. This can include:
- Tense muscles
- Racing heart
- Increased blood pressure
- Panic attacks
- Faster breathing
- Lightheadedness and dizziness
- Sweating or hot flushes
Depression in pregnancy can present these symptoms:
- Persistent sadness
- Trouble sleeping (or sleeping too much)
- Finding it hard to focus
- Feelings of hopelessness, sadness, or suicide
- Feeling guilty or worthless
- Changed eating habits
PANDA has put together this handy guide to anxiety and depression in pregnancy.
As a first step, check out the PANDA website. There you can subscribe for updates, download resources, and find out how to get involved in the awareness week.
And if someone you know is experiencing the signs of perinatal depression or anxiety, show your support and guide them to get help. This could include speaking with their doctor, seeing a counsellor or therapist, or calling the PANDA National Helpline on 1300 726 306. It’s open Monday to Friday, 9am to 7.30pm AEST.