One of the most joyful things in a woman’s life is pregnancy. But, for most of the women, this is the period for stress, confusion, sadness, fear and depression. 10-20% of the women will suffer from depression during pregnancy.
Depression is a kind of mood disorder and one in four women will be affected from it during some point in their life. During the pregnancy period, depression is not properly diagnosed, because most of you think that this is due to hormonal changes.
Considering the mood changes like depression is very dangerous for both you and your baby.
Depression during pregnancy can be managed and well treated, but the first and most important thing in managing depression is seeking out support and help from others.
Depression during pregnancy is also called as antepartum depression and is a kind of mood disorder similar to clinical depression. You may already know that mood disorders involve alterations in your brain chemistry. In the pregnancy period, hormonal changes affect your brain chemicals, which directly linked to anxiety and depression.
Changes that you experience due to depression during pregnancy:
You will experience the changes during pregnancy for 2 or more weeks. They include:
- Difficult to concentrate
- Feeling sadness for longer time
- Sleeping for too little or too much time
- Feelings of shame or worthlessness
- Persistent thoughts of death, hopelessness or suicide
- Changes in your eating habits
- Lack of interest in activities that you generally enjoy
Triggers that lead to depression during pregnancy:
- Complications during pregnancy period
- Fertility treatments
- Relationship problems
- History of trauma or abuse
- Previous miscarriage
- Personal or family history of depression
- Stressful events in life
Is depression during pregnancy harmful for your baby?
If the depression during pregnancy cannot be treated, then it can cause dangerous risks for you and your baby. Untreatable depression leads to smoking, drinking, poor nutrition, and suicidal attempts, which again lead to low birth weight, premature births, and developmental concerns. If you often feel depressed, then you may not have required strength to care for yourself and your developing baby.
Treating depression during pregnancy:
The first and the most significant thing in treating depression is to seek help. Consult your doctor and talk about the struggles and symptoms that you are facing. Then only the practitioner is able to discuss the treatment choices with you. The treatment methods for depression during pregnancy include:
- Light therapy
- Private psychotherapy
- Support groups
If you are having severe depression symptoms, then your health care provider suggests you to take medications immediately. Some medications won’t cause any adverse side effects when you use them in pregnancy.
Remember that seeking help is most important for managing depression during pregnancy. Never try to tolerate the depression alone.