Depression and Pregnancy
Depression is a mood disorder that occurs for a several reasons: during a serious medical illness, with life changes, family history of depression, emotional abuse. Sometimes, even positive events such as graduation or starting a business can lead to depression. When depression and pregnancy comes with the same time, it might be dangerous to deal with. Medications, difficulties in relationship with your partner, pregnancy problems can also be some of the causes.
And then you spend your time alone, feeling sad or “empty”, have difficulties concentrating, get irritated easily and have mood swings. With cycles of depression alternating with periods of happiness accompanied by an increase in activity, lots of negative thoughts and little need for sleep is experienced by a depressed person. With variation of causes, any person can be targeted by depression with any unexpected cause. Pregnancy is one of those causes. Not for all, but for some women depression and pregnancy can be related.
It is normal to experience depression during pregnancy?
Pregnancy is one of the happiest times of a woman’s life. But for many, this can be a time of confusion, fear, stress, and even depression. At least one in ten women experience depression problems during pregnancy. Depression affects 1 in 4 women at some point during their lifetime. Most of the times, depression during pregnancy is not diagnosed properly as it is thought that it is just another type of hormonal imbalance. As one in ten women may suffer from this illness, depression during pregnancy cannot be considered normal. However, with proper care and treatment, the disease can be tackled.
Can depression harm the baby?
Depression and pregnancy can have negative impacts on the baby. Depression that is not treated can be dangerous and risky to the mother and the baby. It also can lead to loss of appetite, drinking, smoking, and suicidal thoughts which can cause premature birth, low birth weight, and developmental problems in child. Getting the right help is very important for both mother and baby.
How to prevent depression during pregnancy?
Depression is a biochemical problem and therefore you won’t be able to avoid it completely if you’re suffering from it. But if you take care of yourself emotionally, physically and mentally, it can be prevented to some degree. Take care of all the tasks you can before the baby arrives. You may think you need to have the nursery ready, clean the house, or work as hard as you can before maternity, but you don’t. Above all the things, you have to do is to look after yourself.
Taking care of your health and of your baby is what’s important. Choose to do something that makes you feel good. Be sure to spend as much time as possible with your partner. Talk about your fears and worries about the future with your partner, your family and your friends. Do not let the frustration grow and make your depression worse. Find ways to take care of yourself emotionally. Take rest, sleep appropriately, exercise, eat well, take yoga classes designed for pregnancy, meditate or perform any spiritual practice that makes you feel good. Other treatment options for women who are pregnant include: support groups, private psychotherapy, medication and light therapy.
In addition, there are natural ways that help relieve the symptoms of depression.
1. Get adequate rest
Lack of sleep greatly affects the body and mind’s ability to handle stress and day to day challenges. Work on a routine sleep schedule that has you going to sleep and getting up at the same time.
2. Diet and Nutrition
Many foods have been proven to be effective for mood changes, to handle stress and to maintain mental strength. Food rich in sugar can have negative effect on your mood and mental health. Avoid those.
New studies report that acupuncture can help in treating depression in pregnant women. Get help from experts.
4. Omega-3 fatty acids
It can help with a number of health issues, but the studies show that taking a daily dose of omega-3/fish oils can decrease symptoms of depression.
5. Herbal remedies
There are a number of herbals and vitamins known to affect moods, depression and pregnancy. Talk with your health care provider and nutritionist or herbalist about whether to use SAM-e, 5-HTP, magnesium, vitamin B6 and/or flower remedies.
It is important that someone knows what you are dealing with. Never try to face depression alone.