Pregnancy can be a time of joy — and stress. Research suggests that about between 21% and 47% of South African women experience depression during pregnancy, and 31% to 50% suffer postnatal depression, compared to the global rate of approximately 12% of women experiencing depression during or after pregnancy. Rates might be higher in low and middle income countries.
But in most cases, depression during pregnancy often goes unrecognised. And because some symptoms of depression, including changes in sleep, energy level, appetite and libido, are similar to symptoms of pregnancy this might be attributed to the pregnancy, rather than depression.
There's also a tendency to focus more on women's physical health during pregnancy, rather than mental health.
Guest: Dr. Bavi Vythilingum, Member of the South African Society of Psychiatrists (SASOP)