Even though pregnancy is supposed to be one of the happiest times in a woman’s life, anywhere from 10-20% of pregnant women will experience some symptoms of depression.
What is pregnancy depression?
About 50% of women who experience depression symptoms will experience major depression. Depression is hard to handle at any point during life, and being pregnant makes it even harder. However, being pregnant is a major reason that you should definitely handle the depression, more so than you would at any other point in life. The following information will help you determine the difference between a simple pregnancy induced hormonal imbalance, and a more serious depression issue so that you will know what you are up against.
Pregnancy depression is the same as any other depression in terms of being a mood disorder and chemical imbalance. The only difference is that the depression occurs during, or is brought on by the hormones of the pregnancy itself.
What are the signs of pregnancy depression?
If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms for periods lasting two weeks or longer, you may be experiencing pregnancy depression and should talk with your doctor.
- Persistent sadness
- Difficulty sleeping, sleeping too much, or not sleeping enough
- Recurring thoughts of death, or suicide
- Changes in eating habits
- Thoughts of hopelessness
- Loss of interest in activities you used to enjoy
What are pregnancy depression triggers?
Below is a list of things that could possibly cause the onset of depression during pregnancy.
- Relationship issues
- Financial issues
- Pregnancy complications
- Previous pregnancy losses
- Fertility treatments
- Family history of depression
How do you treat pregnancy depression?
Because your doctor will want the healthiest course of action for you and your baby, you will likely see many different approaches to your pregnancy including the use of safe prescription drugs to treat your depression. Here are some options that you and your doctor can use to help you through the depression:
- Support groups
- Private psychotherapy
- Light therapy
How will depression affect my baby?
Naturally, worrying about your baby is normal. Your depression will not harm your child as long as your depression does not become so bad that you begin to ignore your nutritional needs or start doing things to intentional harm yourself. The most common reason for unborn children to experience harm as a result of a depressed mother is that the mother loses the desire to appropriately care for herself and her baby.
Realize that feeling sad from time to time, or worrying about the baby is normal, and it will pass. You are not depressed if you have these feelings occasionally at the expense of either circumstance or hormones, and you should not overly worry about being depressed. The depression only becomes an issue when these feelings do not go away and you start to suffer because of it. If you feel like any of these things in this article have described you, speak to your healthcare professional right away.