Many women suffer with symptoms of depression during pregnancy. Read on to learn the causes and how to prevent and deal with depression during pregnancy and after that.
The entire year of child bearing which includes pregnancy and post natal is full of anxiety and tremendous psychological and physical changes in the woman. Until recent past it was believed that pregnancy hormones took care of these feelings and hence no harm to women or their child was expected.
But the fact is that pregnant women need lot of support, emotionally and physically, so that they take care of themselves and cope with all the problems during this life changing period. The bouts of depression is also related to what pregnancy means to the woman and how she deals with her body image and changes that occur physically and psychologically.
Why am I depressed when I should be on top of the world?
Mood swings are common in the first trimester. Close to 10% of women face mild to moderate depression. The lows can be consistent or frequent. Common symptoms include sleep disturbances, changed eating patterns, fatigue, loss of interest in daily activities, and exaggerated mood swings. These symptoms should not last for more than two weeks.
What factors can put women at risk for depression?
Many of the following conditions could make women susceptible to occasional bouts of depression. In extreme cases, women have been advised to go in for therapy or take anti-depressant medication as prescribed by their obstetricians.
A family history of personality disorders
Lack of emotional support
Hospitalisation or complete bed rest advised due to a high risk in pregnancy
Anxiety about your own or your baby's health and safety
Age of pregnancy
Problems in marital life
History of mistreatment or trauma
Stressful events of life
Initially treated for infertility
Complications in pregnancy
Miscarriage in past
Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD or PMS)
Mother of multiples
With any form of diabetes
Ambivalence during pregnancy
Symptoms of depression during pregnancy
Depression can go undiagnosed because many women often dismiss their feelings and let them go thinking them as temporary moodiness. So, if you are pregnant, do not feel shy about sharing your feelings with your doctor. Remember your emotional well being is equally important for you and your child as your physical health. Here are some symptoms to help you find out whether you are suffering from depression or not.
If you are not enjoying the activities you previously did
Feeling sad, overwhelmed or hopeless
Lack of sleep
Feeling restless or moody
Feeling lack of energy
Absence of motivation
Lack of appetite
Withdrawing from friends and family
Having trouble in concentrating or making decision
Crying a lot
Having problem remembering things
Having headaches and other pains or stomach problems that do not go away
Feeling worthless and guilty
Effect of depression on pregnancy
Depression can put pregnant women at the risk of using harmful substances like alcohol, tobacco or other illegal and harmful drugs.
Depression can stop pregnant women from taking care of themselves during pregnancy like not taking recommended medications, eating and sleeping properly.
Depression can deprive pregnant women from having a strong bonding with their child.
Effects of pregnancy on depression
Depression during pregnancy put pregnant women at high risk of suffering from postnatal depression also.
Stress and anxiety during pregnancy might trigger symptoms of depression; it can be worsening of depression symptoms also.
What to do when depressed during pregnancy?
There is no doubt that preparing for your new baby means lot of work, but always keep in mind that your health should be given the prime importance. So, cut down the chores, take help from family members or get paid domestic help, if needed. Do things that help you relax.
Talking to someone about your feelings is very important during this time. You can talk to your partner, friend, family members or anyone in the social circle. If you find problem related to appetite and sleep, you should talk to your doctor. He will prescribe you medicines that are safe during pregnancy. However, there are some nonmedical approaches also that can be opted for dealing with depression during pregnancy.
What are the causes of depression and mood swings during pregnancy? How to deal with depression and mood swings during pregnancy? How to prevent depression and mood swings during pregnancy? Discuss here.
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- The Indiaparenting Team