For many moms-to-be, the excitement of expecting a baby can often be overshadowed by concerns relating to mental health.
While the spotlight is often on _post_natal depression, psychiatrist Dr. Lavinia Lumu explains that there are disorders that can occur during pregnancy.
She says woman are generally more predisposed to psychiatric disorders at certain stages in their lives.
In the premenstrual period, we have disorders that women are more at risk of getting and obviously around pregnancy as well there is a surge in hormone and later on in life during menopause.— Dr. Lavinia Lumu, Specialist psychiatrist
She says research shows that untreated psychiatric disorders can have a negative impact, not only on the mother but also on the fetus.
She adds that the thinking around the treatment of such disorders during pregnancy has changed over the years.
Old practice used to be that if you have someone who is known to have depression, bipolar or schizophrenia, health professionals would immediately stop medication because of the fear of harm to the unborn fetus.— Dr. Lavinia Lumu, Specialist psychiatrist
Luma says each case should be considered on its own and that these days the risk of medication is weighed up against the benefit to the mother's mental health.
She says in some cases certain medications should be continued during pregnancy and into the postnatal period.
They found that untreated psychiatric disorders are more harmful to the fetus.— Dr. Lavinia Lumu, Specialist psychiatrist
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