Importance of mental health during pregnancy
Having a baby marks the beginning of a new journey, one that you have to learn to navigate – and it can be tough. Ask any mother and she will tell you that the changes which come with having a baby are overwhelming: hormonal fluctuations, lack of sleep, lifestyle adjustments, and relationship with one’s partner. It’s normal to have some worries and fears about what’s coming when you’re pregnant.
How my mental health affects my child during and after pregnancy
As your foetus grows, it’s constantly getting messages from you. It’s not just hearing your heartbeat or whatever music you might play to your belly; it also gets chemical signals through the placenta. Recent research shows that this includes signals about your mental state. In other words, your mental health affects how your baby develops during and after pregnancy. Babies with better outcomes – physically and mentally – were those with mothers who were healthy both before and after birth. Conversely, those whose mothers were depressed before birth and stayed depressed afterward had poorer outcomes.
What is SICS doing to help?
Through the Mapping Antenatal Maternal Stress (MAMS) study, we wish to study factors that contribute to maternal stress during and after pregnancy. This, in turn, will hopefully result in the development of more effective treatment programmes to support mothers-to-be, like yourself.
How can I help?
You can be part of this mission if you are:
- Pregnant for less than 14 weeks
- Aged 21 to 40 years old
- Visit an NUH doctor for pregnancy care
- Able to read and/or understand English or Chinese
What should I expect?
If you decide to be a part of MAMS, you will be given questionnaires to do online at your own convenience. Our study visits during pregnancy will coincide with your clinic visits. You will also receive a report of your child’s neurocognitive and developmental assessment two years after birth. Reimbursements will be given for your time. There are no additional costs associated with participating in this project.
To find out more, call us at (+65) 9173 4024, email us at MAMS@sics.a-star.edu.sg, or simply fill in the form below.