It is said that pregnancy is supposed to be the happiest time of women’s life, but still they may be face pregnancy depression.
The feelings that they have could be mixed, including fear, confusion, stress and sadness. During this period, about 14%-23% of all women experience some symptoms of depression.
What is depression during pregnancy?
The condition is also known as antepartum depression and it is a kind of mood disorder just as clinical depression. The mood disorders are considered an illness that alters the chemistry of the brain. When women are pregnant, the pregnancy hormones can change the brain chemistry, so they can be affected by depression.
Signs of pregnancy and depression
In order for a woman to be diagnosed with depression she should be suffering for more than two weeks of persistent sadness, sleeping disorders, lack of concentration, lack of interest in activities she enjoyed before, thoughts of hopelessness, suicide and death, feelings of worthlessness and guilt and anxiety.
Triggers of depression and pregnancy
There are some factors that make the appearance of depression more likely. These include problems with relationships, treatments of infertility, personal or family history of depression, prior pregnancy loss, pregnancy complications, stressful events, and a history of trauma and abuse.
Depression and the baby
Some women may be asking whether pregnancy depression could harm the little one. According to the specialists, the condition shouldn’t have any negative effects on the baby or the mother. Nonetheless if it isn’t treated it could lead to drinking, poor nutrition, smoking or even suicidal behavior.
As a result, depression while being pregnant may result in low birth weight, premature birth, or developmental problems of the baby. If a woman is affected by depression, she might not have the will and strength to take care of herself or the baby properly.
It is possible for the babies of the mothers dealing with pregnancy and depression to be less active, to be more irritable or agitated or to have a lack of attention.
This is why it is important for women to get help as they see the first signs of the condition.
Treatment for depression and pregnancy
The first step to make, in case you experience the symptoms of depression, is to get professional help. Talk to your doctor about the concerns and symptoms that you have. He or she will tell you about the available treatments, such as support groups, private psychotherapy, light therapy and medication.
Medications for pregnancy depression
The truth is that the specialists aren’t certain whether the antidepressant medications could have long-term effects on the baby or not. The studies show that some of the medications could lead to heart problems, physical malformations, low birth weight and pulmonary hypertension.
In case of moderate or mild depression when being pregnant, it could be managed with the help of support groups, light therapy and psychotherapy. If the patient suffers from severe depression, a combination of medical therapy and psychotherapy may be needed.
When it comes to medication regarding pregnancy and depression, women have to keep in mind that no matter what kind of medication they take, it will reach the baby through the placenta. At the moment there isn’t enough information on the medication that are and aren’t safe for the baby.
In case of severe depression and pregnancy, people have to consider the effects and benefits of the treatments. If a patient needs to take medication, it is best if she works with a mental health care provider and a prenatal care provider at the same time for the most effective treatment.