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Around 1 in 5 Women in the GCC Suffer from Post-Natal Depression


Cultural stigma and lack of statistics surrounding post-partum depression to be addressed at Midwifery Conference.

Dubai, United Arab Emirates, March 14, 2016 --(PR.com)-- Post-natal depression (PND), and antenatal depression (AND), also known as the baby blues are some of the least addressed mental health conditions in the GCC. There is significant lack of awareness, social stigma, and research concerning the number of cases, frequency and treatment. Experts suggest developing a holistic approach to providing dedicated assistance and treatment for mothers who suffer from these conditions.

According to Ms Andrea Allen, Founding Member, Out of the Blues, Dubai, “Post –natal depression (PND) is on the rise due to the fact that the cases remain unreported International figures state PND effects 1 in 7 women however, the care providers we work with in the GCC believe it to be more like 1 in 5 women. In Out of the Blue, we provide support to women from all cultural backgrounds, but it has proven challenging to obtain exact figures due to the cultural stigma attached to mental health issues within many of the diverse groups in the region.”

Ms Allen, will discuss the experiences of mothers who suffer from postnatal or antenatal depression go through, and the available solutions at the Midwifery Conference at the Obs-Gyne Exhibition and Congress organised by Informa Life Sciences Exhibitions that will take place March 27-29 at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Many cases go unreported and untreated resulting that some women might sink in deep depression for many years. However there are support groups available in Dubai for example that provide support and references to treatment and help. It is important to identify the main tell-tale signs for PND and AND, and to offer the right care and resources to help mothers overcome these debilitating conditions.

While it is important to acknowledge that tiredness alone isn’t a sign of PND some women may experience one or more of the following symptoms; sadness, tearfulness, worthlessness, hopelessness about the future, irritability, guilt, hostility to partner or baby, anxious, loss of concentration, insomnia, lack of appetite, and suicidal thoughts. Yet it is unlikely that they will experience all of them.

According to Ms Allen, “The help a mother will need depends on how severe her AND/PND is, there are various approaches to treatment. Supplements and vitamins, counselling and medication are a few options. Self-help including exercise, better nutrition, increased support from family and friends as well as peer support are all key factors and research proves them to be extremely beneficial for a successful recovery.”

Post-partum psychosis is a consistent source of severe mental illness and its worldwide prevalence has remained unchanged at 1 in 1000 live births over the past 150 years. For some women, admission to hospital is necessary. In the UK special mother and baby units (MBUs) are available in some areas to allow mothers to remain with their babies during treatment. This can help avoid the potential harmful effects of separating the baby from the mother on the new-born and the effect this separation would have on the mother's confidence and capability as a future caregiver.
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Informa Life Sciences Exhibitions
Weaam El Ataya
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