Depression During Pregnancy

Pregnancy is considered as most respected and happiest moments in the life of a woman. During this period, you need to take care of an expectant mother to let her not suffer from any sort of physical or mental stress. However, there are some cases reported by medical associations that 10% pregnant women generally suffer from the depression during pregnancy. This depression can not only affect the mother but also can harm the health of the baby. The mental or physical disturbances in a mother's life can lead to depression which will result in the changes of mood, eating habits, sleep cycle, etc., along with emotional and psychological behavior variations. This can directly or indirectly harm the baby to be delivered. But in fact, this depression is not a big problem and it can be treated with either medicines or by psychological ailments.

What Causes Depression During Pregnancy?

It is quite difficult to notify one or two reasons for that depression in pregnancy. But it is easy to understand that this is actually influenced by raging hormones, which affect the chemical balance of the brain that is responsible for mood and emotions. Except being responsible for premenstrual emotional havoc, the hormonal fluctuations are also responsible for prenatal depression. Besides, research also found a fact that women who have always suffered from pronounced PMS are at greater risk for depression during pregnancy. Moreover, following factors can trigger it:

  • Some sort of relational problems
  • Inherited depression
  • Treatment for infertility
  • Pregnancy loss in past
  • Stressful life events
  • Complications in pregnancy
  • Previous history of psychological mishaps

What Are the Symptoms of Depression During Pregnancy?

Usually some of the symptoms like fatigue or sleeping disturbances are observed in the normal pregnant women. But if these common fatigues are accompanied with the sense of sadness and inability to function properly, this can be caused by depression and need to be cured for the betterment of mother and the baby. Some of the common symptoms of the depression include:

  • ŸThe sense of feeling guilt, hopelessness and nothingness
  • ŸDifficulty in concentrating on things
  • ŸExcessive crying and extreme irritability
  • ŸHaving troubles with sleep (no sleep or sleep for long time)
  • Similar troubles with eating habits (desire to eat all the time or no desire to eat at all)
  • ŸFeeling of sadness in most part of the day

If any of such thought is prevalent in the expectant mother, then it's better to consult a physician or psychiatrist. Visiting psychiatrist for a checkup doesn’t mean that you are mental patient; it just shows your concern about the health and betterment of you and the baby.

Can Depression During Pregnancy Harm Your Baby?

Sometimes, the pregnant women hesitate to treat the depression, but if it remains untreated or undertreated, it can lead to serious hazards. The few examples of harms observed during studies include preterm delivery, gestational diabetes, low birth weight of the baby and developmental delays in the neonate at the severe state. And if this depression is ignored, it can continue affecting baby's development after the birth, creating problems for you and your baby.

What to Do If You're Depressed During Pregnancy?

The treatment of the depression during pregnancy is not a big deal nowadays. There are many techniques available for the control and cure of depression, including drugs and non drug usage techniques.

1.   Take Medicines

If the condition of the depression of the patient is severe and medical treatment including anti depressants is compulsory, only then the patient should go for it, since there are some side effects of using this kind of drugs. Many antidepressants like Prozac, Zoloft, Wellbutrin, Celexa, Paxil, etc. are being used for the treatment of depression during pregnancy. And if the patient had a previous history of depression before the pregnancy, then she must consult both the physician and the psychiatrist about the recommended antidepressant treatment for depression.

2.   Change Lifestyles

Whatever treatment you are using for depression, it is highly suggested to change the habits and lifestyle for the better results. Here are some main points about the life pattern changes elaborated:

  • Have enough rest: In order to counter your depression caused by the fatigue during pregnancy, it is recommended to take long rest. This can be achieved by going to bed early, sleeping for long time and taking small naps during day time.
  • Plan some outings: The outings to the nature have been proved to have lots of soothing and relaxing effects to the patient. So, in order to have some fun and relax your mood, plan for a short trip to parks, picnics or beaches.
  • Maintain healthy eating habits: Adequate calories are required by the expectant mother for the better growth and development of fetus. Healthy eating habits will also make up the calorie requirement of mother and will make you relaxed. Avoid the fatty and caffeine containing foods.
  • Exercise: The adequate aerobic exercise is beneficial for production of endorphins to maintain a healthy and refreshing mood. Make sure you do exercises regularly and frequently.

You can also learn from a mom who talks about her experience about dealing with depression during pregnancy from the video below:

3.   Try Psychotherapy or Acupuncture

Different psychotherapies are often being used for the depression. The approach of these therapies is to focus on reducing strain in relationships and identifying pessimistic thoughts to change them. Different researches have proved that acupuncture can also alleviate the depression by targeting the acupuncture points. But look for a professional acupuncturist for help relieving depression during pregnancy, instead of doing it by yourself.

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