Currently, it is known that pregnancy and postpartum are moments of great vulnerability for some women, involving biological, psychological, and social changes. Together with certain individual factors, these changes can trigger anxious and depressive states, potentially limiting the healthy dynamics of the woman and having consequences for her baby.

In October, the 5th National Pregnancy Symposium took place, organised by the Gynecology/Obstetrics Service of HPA Saúde Group - Gambelas. The symposium focused on the theme “Mental and Physical Well-being During Pregnancy and Postpartum,” encompassing various areas of knowledge and emphasizing the importance of society’s involvement in the attention and support of pregnant and postpartum women.

The symposium primarily addressed the two main psychological pathologies related to pregnancy and postpartum: depression, characterised by symptoms such as sadness, loss of pleasure and interest in activities, psychomotor agitation or slowing, feelings of worthlessness or guilt, and hopelessness. It was highlighted that other symptoms associated with this condition, such as changes in appetite, insomnia, and fatigue, are also common during pregnancy and postpartum and should not be considered as diagnostic symptoms. Anxiety was also discussed, characterised by excessive, intrusive, and persistent worry, restlessness, irritability, muscle tension, insomnia, stomach pains, nausea, and diarrhea.

The importance of the involvement of various healthcare professionals in mental health, along with their training related to mental health diagnostics and referrals for psychology visits/interventions, was demonstrated. The existence of questionnaires assessing emotional symptoms/states during pregnancy planning and postpartum discharge from the service was also emphasised, helping women identify symptoms and seek help if necessary.

The presented symptoms aimed not only to inform pregnant and postpartum women but also their families and society in general, so that everyone remains vigilant to these warning signs. The goal is to collectively provide the best possible support and assistance to the expectant mother as early as possible.

This text is written by Dr. André Galvão de Castro, a Clinical Psychologist and Master’s in Clinical Psychology at HPA – Gambelas.

For more information please contact HPA Grupo Saude on (+351) 282 420 400.