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Cape mom shares moving story of overcoming prenatal depression during pregnancy

19 May 2016 2:46 PM

A Cape Town mother suffered from prenatal depression during her first pregnancy and only sought professional help at 7 months.

Prenatal depression, also known as antenatal depression, happens during pregnancy and can affect between 14 and 23% of expecting women.

Gynaecologist and Obstetrician Dr Veronique Eeckhout explains that the condition can affect any pregnant woman, irrespective of their age or race profile.

There is no age on depression, there's no colour.. we know that it happens more in the reproductive area, but it doesn't matter if you have a child at 23 or at 37.

Dr Veronique Eeckhout, OB/GYN

Eeckhout says that one's socio-economic status can play a role, because some patients have access to secure incomes, housing and healthcare.

Perinatal mental health expert, Dr Simone Honikman advises that some woman are at more risk than others.

Certain types of people are more vulnerable than others. Woman who experience poverty, violence and those without support systems are more likely to experience common mental health problems.

Dr Simone Honikman, Perinatal mental health expert

Despite her privileged background, Cape Town mother Nicky Gous suffered from prenatal depression, and shares her experience of anxiety and suicidal thoughts.

I never recovered. I started to have terrible anxiety... my rock bottom was when I was in the bath one evening and I looked at my razor and thought I could end this... I was horrified.

Nicky Gous, Cape Town mother

Tragically, Nicky lost her first child before birth, but she says that she is glad that she sought professional help - and encourages other expecting mothers to do the same.

Listen to the full conversation:

19 May 2016 2:46 PM

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