How to help pregnant women with anxious or depressed feelings?


A relatively large number of pregnant women (22%) experience anxious or depressed feelings during pregnancy, while relatively few of those women are treated for those symptoms (15%). The majority of women with anxious or depressed feelings regard these feelings as a normal part of pregnancy.

Receiving a referral from the midwife for anxious or depressed feelings is the most important facilitating factor in getting into treatment. Additionally, it appears to be helpful for the pregnant women when the midwife asks about possible feelings of fear or somberness. Not receiving questions about these feelings seems to be the main barrier to sharing feelings.

The results of this study emphasize that midwives play an essential role in discussing and identifying fear and somberness, as well as referring women with anxious or depressed feelings for treatment.  

This study has been published in Journal of Women’s Health:
Browne PD, Bossenbroek R, Kluft A, van Tetering EMA, de Weerth C. (2020) Prenatal Anxiety and Depression: Treatment Uptake, Barriers, and Facilitators in Midwifery Care. J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2020 Dec 3. doi: 10.1089/jwh.2019.8198.

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