Many women experience mixed emotions during pregnancy and early parenthood. But some women are more likely to experience emotional difficulties at this time, especially if they've experienced mental health conditions in the past.
For this reason, Australian women are being routinely asked questions about their feelings during pregnancy and soon after birth.
The Perinatal Clinical Practice Guidelines recommend that psychosocial assessment and the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) be used by primary care and other health professionals to screen all women for symptoms of depression and/or anxiety during the perinatal period.
The EPDS has been validated for use in both pregnancy and the postnatal period to assess for possible depression and anxiety.
The Centre of Perinatal Excellence has information on using the EPDS as a screening tool, a downloadable EPDS questionnaire and scoring guide.