While postnatal depression is well known, depression during pregnancy is becoming common for South African women.
According to the South African Society of Psychiatrists (SASOP), between 21% and 47% of South African women experience depression during pregnancy.
Today marks the end of National Pregnancy Awareness Week, aimed at promoting health during pregnancy and early motherhood.
Member of the SASOP, Dr Bavi Vythilingum, explains how depression carries risks of increased complications during pregnancy and childbirth.
“Between 30 and 47% of pregnant women actually are depressed and those are the stats for SA. So, you can see that a lot of women in this country are struggling with depression while pregnant. Depression during pregnancy can have risks for the growth and development of the baby. It’s associated with things like an increased risk for pre-term labour and an increased risk for high blood pressure during pregnancy.”
Dr Vythilingum elaborates in the podcast below: