Causes Of Prenatal Depression: Symptoms And To Deal With It?

Pregnancy is a time when a host of changes are taking place in your body, as well as your mind. No matter how much you are looking forward to the baby’s arrival, you may find yourself feeling melancholic and depressed. For a lot of women, pregnancy is a time of uncertainty, alarm, panic, stress, and depression.

Research shows that 14 – 23% of women are known to battle some symptoms of depression during pregnancy.

Don’t let depression take over your life. By taking depression seriously, dealing with the situation promptly, you will revive the joys of pregnancy. The consequences of neglecting depression can be really extreme; some studies have shown that maternal depression can seriously increase the risk of preterm birth, low birth weight, and low Apgar scores in the child.

There are several causes and triggers for the development of depression during pregnancy:

  • Relationship trouble
  • Stressful life
  • Previous miscarriage
  • Infertility treatments
  • Complications during the pregnancy.
  • Family or personal history of depression.

Signs And Symptoms Of Prenatal Depression

Prenatal depression manifests as:

  • Undue worry about the baby.
  • Low self-worth.
  • Feeling inadequate about motherhood.
  • Cannot experience joy from activities that you used to find enjoyable.
  • Reassurance does not allay your fears.
  • Smoking, drinking alcohol or using illicit drugs.
  • Poor weight gain due to a decreased or inadequate diet.
  • Suicidal thoughts.

Untreated depression is fraught with a lot of complications and dangers. You are also at an increased risk of postpartum depression and having problems bonding with the child.

Depending up on the intensity of depression, treatment comprises of psychotherapy and / or anti-depressants.

Guidelines To Deal With Prenatal Depression

The following guidelines will help you manage depression in pregnancy successfully:

  • Be a part of a support group: Isolation can trigger and exacerbate depression, being a part of a support group / community reduces it. Talk to your friends, relatives; join a prenatal support group or a parenting center. Finding support amongst women who are in similar circumstances helps lessen your troubles.
  • Take care of yourself: Ensure that you eat a healthy diet, which provide you with all the essential vitamins and minerals. You should also talk to your OB/GYN and ask her in case any supplements are necessary for you. Make sure you get adequate rest and sleep. Nap when you can, walk around the locality or go to a prenatal yoga class.
  • Talk to your partner: A baby is going to add stress to your relationship; hence it is very vital that you improve your communication before the baby arrives. In case conflicts are grave, opt for couple’s therapy. If possible, take a vacation together. Dedicate time and consideration to your bond.
  • Manage stress: If your life is frenzied and full of stress, you need to start meditation or prenatal yoga class. Reduce your hours to ease pressure at work. Work, but make plenty of time for rest, hobby, and relationships. Your life will change radically once the child comes; the steps you take now will provide you with a strong foundation.
  • Psychotherapy and counseling are most certainly helpful. Talk to your therapist to get guidelines and pointers about dealing with your symptoms well.
  • In some cases, your doctor will prescribe anti-depressants. Many antidepressant drugs are safe during pregnancy, so you need to keep an open mind about them. Talk it through with your OB/GYN, health care provider and your psychotherapist. Also, confer with friends and relatives. You can weigh the risks and benefits and make an informed decision.
  • It is essential that you tackle your depression promptly and don’t forget that you are gearing up for the big day when the baby arrives, and, you need to be at your best.