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Screening for Mental Health in Pregnant Women in Nepal | Vantage featuring Palki Sharma

Pregnancy is a beautiful and transformative experience for many women, but it also comes with its own set of challenges. From physical changes to hormonal fluctuations, the journey of pregnancy can be overwhelming. However, one aspect that is often overlooked is the mental health of pregnant women.

According to global statistics, around 10% of pregnant women experience depression, and this number tends to increase after giving birth. In some cases, untreated mental health issues can even lead to suicide. The lack of timely intervention and support for new mothers is a concerning issue that needs to be addressed.

In a commendable move, Nepal’s Health Ministry has introduced a new plan to screen pregnant women for mental disorders. The screening will start from the first trimester and continue even after birth. If any mental health problems are detected, the women will be offered prompt treatment.

The reason behind Nepal’s initiative is the rising number of maternal deaths caused by mental health issues. Despite efforts to reduce maternal mortality rates, many women still succumb to death during or after pregnancy due to preventable causes, including self-harm.

This problem is not unique to Nepal, as it affects pregnant women globally. Postpartum depression is a common mental health issue that can have serious consequences for both the mother and the infant. Integrating mental health intervention into general postnatal care is crucial to ensuring the well-being of new mothers.

By prioritizing the mental health of pregnant women, Nepal is setting an example for other countries to follow. Effective intervention and support can make a significant difference in the lives of mothers and their children. It’s time to acknowledge and address the mental health challenges that pregnant women face, and Nepal’s initiative is a step in the right direction.

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