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‘Be more supportive of pregnant women’

‘Be more supportive of pregnant women’

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There are mothers who become depressed and need treatment after going through emotional pregnancies here in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and long servicing Government Psychiatrist Dr. Mrinal Debnath is appealing to spouses of pregnant women to be more supportive and attentive throughout their pregnancies.{{more}}

Dr. Debnath, a psychiatrist of some 30-odd years experience, spoke to SEARCHLIGHT HEALTH recently about the mental stress associated with pregnancy. Commenting on the importance of a solid support system for a pregnant woman, Dr. Debnath said that he was pleased with the general support of the society at large and the health care system, referring to the district clinic’s pre-natal care programme as excellent.

“The problem is with the husbands and boyfriends,” said Debnath who identified this one-on-one relationship as a key source of stress related complication in pregnancies that he has seen in St. Vincent. “When the woman is pregnant some men become very promiscuous because they may not find their spouse to be attractive at that time.”

According to Debnath it is ironic and very much unfair that men heap blame on pregnant women in the case of unwanted pregnancies. Noting that both parties must take the responsibility, the doctor commented that in his experience he has found that it is the men who are often lackadaisical about birth control, for example, the using of condoms.

Dr. Debnath stressed the importance of planning pregnancies noting that unplanned pregnancies are usually accompanied by financial and other mental stresses. “Some ladies who are working low end jobs sometimes worry about their job security and any sort of disturbance can trigger panic and worry and that is not good for the mother or baby.”

The Calcutta University trained doctor who has worked in Jamaica, Guyana and Austria told SEARCHLIGHT HEALTH that it must be noted that a frustrated, stressed out mother can transfer this to her unborn child. “Many times children grow up and suffer from anxiety disorders that were handed down to them by their mother while they were in the womb.”

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