Pregnancy comes as a good news in the family with everyone expectant of the new life joining the family soon. It brings an amalgamation of feelings inside the mother-to-be that has every shade in it; joy, excitement, thrill, restlessness, anxiety and fear. While all the symptoms and characteristics of pregnancy are apparent, there remains many things inside the woman that goes undiscussed. “Depression” is one such feeling that swipes its way into the life of a pregnant woman that should be identified and addressed appropriately. Continued depression throughout the phase of pregnancy is not only hazardous for the mother but also for the baby.
Complications associated with depression during pregnancy
A depression pregnant woman might resort to unhealthy habits that could be dangerous for both the lives. Poor nutrition, drinking alcohol, smoking and suicidal behavior are a few common associated risks with depression. Moreover, a depressed woman would obviously be not able to take care of her and the developing child inside her. This condition can further lead to premature birth, low birth weight of the child, and other developmental issues.
Not only this, the medical condition of depression may get carried on with the new born as well. Such children might find it hard to focus on things, show stability, and attention. They might also be less active and mentally agitated.
Signs and symptoms of depression during pregnancy:
A woman might exhibit a few of the below symptoms if suffering from depression. When the symptoms occur for more than two weeks, it can be termed as depression.
- Continued sadness
- Difficulty in focus and concentration
- Sleeping less or sleeping too much
- Lack of interest in usual activities of high interest
- Anxiety and restlessness
- Altered eating habits
- Feeling agitated and irritated
Any sign of depression that continues beyond two weeks need medical attention. If left unattended, it could affect the developing child inside the womb.
Are you at high risk of depression during pregnancy?
Pregnancy is really a hard time considering the side effects it brings. The morning sickness, increasing weight, difficultly in walking and sleeping, back pain and lower waist pain can bring down the usual enthusiasm of a woman. However, in certain pre-defined conditions, the risks for depression increases significantly. Below are a few high-risk factors for pregnancy depression:
- Family history of depression
- Previous history of depression or anxiety
- Previous pregnancy loss
- Sudden life stress; family, social or professional
- Poor relationship with life partner
- High workload and lack of support
- Unplanned pregnancy or high-risk pregnancy
Treatment for depression during pregnancy
For any depression symptoms, you should talk to your doctor immediately. Ignoring the symptoms could lead to their severity causing significant damage. Your doctor might suggest you the treatment options that might include:
- Joining support groups
- One-to-one psychotherapy
There are certain medications for depression during pregnancy which a doctor can prescribe after analysing the symptoms and their severity. Going for any over-the-counter medicines during pregnancy is not safe, so always seek expert’s advice for safety.
What can you do for your depression?
It can happen that you yourself won’t be able to realize that you are suffering from depression. That is why, during pregnancy you should have someone to share every little thing you feel. This will let others identify the problems, if any. You can help yourself by doing the below things:
- Stay engaged and talk to others; don’t confine yourself
- Practice your hobby which should be safe for your physical and mental health
- Listen to music, watch good TV shows and read
- Do meditate to keep yourself stress free
- Exercise adequately under supervision as it reduces stress causing cortisol levels
- Get adequate sleep to handle stress and challenges of daily life
- Take care of diet and nutrition that fuels your body in a healthy way
- Stay away from the triggers which could be a person, your work, or anything else
- Imagine the upcoming beautiful life with the little one and feel blessed
It is always advisable to manage the depression without any medicinal support, if possible. However, everything should be done with complete consent of the consulting doctor. When needed the gynaecologist/obstetrician may suggest consultation with a psychotherapist to manage the symptoms.
Pregnancy is one of the most cherished phase of woman’s life and it should be lived with full spirit. Any negative thought coming in mind should be eliminated for the well-being of the child to be born. Though, it is not in your hand to control the occurrence of depression, it solely depends on you how you are letting it grow. Seek help! From family, from friends and from your doctor, but keep depression away to live your pregnancy to the fullest.
Author Bio: Rinki Manya is a content marketing assistant at Zoylo Digihealth with a keen interest in healthcare related reading, researching, and writing. Believing in the simplicity of content as the most effective strategy to reach the mind of readers, she writes extensively for health and wellness that connects to the common people looking for healthcare solutions. As a day-time writer and a night time reader, she finds herself as a great learner with long way to go.