Depression in Pregnant Women

Pregnant women suffer from depression too.
Pregnant women are susceptible to getting depressed, even if it is just because they are pregnant in the first place!

Pregnancy and Depression

It is expected that pregnancy brings joy and is, therefore, rendered the happiest moment in a woman’s life. However, this case does not apply to all women. To some, pregnancy causes fear, stress, confusion, and even depression.

Depression is a common disorder in women and is likely to manifest through struggles during pregnancy.

Often, depressed women are regarded as having a form of hormonal imbalance while in reality, it is a mood disorder that can be managed and treated as long as you seek support.

Antenatal Depression

The sad feeling you have for hours, days, weeks, or months during your pregnancy is what best describes antenatal depression. The condition affects women in different ways, and its symptoms can vary from mild to severe.

Expecting a child can be a very emotional experience as you are not aware of how to handle the new feeling. While depressed, it is difficult for a woman even to know whether the feelings she holds at the time of pregnancy are manageable.

The low feeling while depressed can be caused by hormones that affect emotions and can be manifested by a sickly feeling or difficulty to sleep. 

Warnings or any symptoms of being depressed should lead you straight to your primary care physician or OBGYN for further tests and counseling. In essence, depression in pregnant women presents in several different ways but can be managed by getting the help that you need.  

Can depression cause harm to a baby before birth?

One of the outcomes of depression is poor self-care practices which may escalate to substantial issues such as self-harm, drug abuse, and poor nutrition.

Children born from depressed mothers may display various developmental issues and record a very low weight at birth. Chances of a depressed mother harming herself are considerably high, which is why cases of miscarriages are higher for mothers struggling with depression.

Signs To Watch For During Pregnancy:

  • Anxiety
  • Inconsistent feeding patterns
  • Lack of sleep or too much of it
  • Constant sadness and wallowing
  • Always distracted
  • Hopelessness
  • Deep guilt
  • Frequent suicidal thoughts

Things That Can Cause A Depressed Mother:

  • Previous miscarriages
  • Grief in the course of pregnancy
  • Infertility medication
  • An abusive relationship
  • Complications from the pregnancy
  • Break up or divorce
  • A chemical imbalance in your brain

The three trimesters of pregnancy have their own set of hardships, but for depressed women, pregnancy can be overwhelming. Depression starts with mild symptoms but manifests over time to alter a mother’s mental state, attitude, and health.

Seek professional help to get advice on how to fight your depression. A doctor will prescribe antidepressants if needed but for manageable cases, having a support group and different forms of therapy will help as well.

Hormones can affect how the brain works, and without the proper treatment, the woman’s health may be at risk.  

Written By Teresa M. 

Sources: Depression During Pregnancy

More About Being Depressed: Signs It Is Time To Get Help and Top Five Common Mental Illnesses In Adults