Depression During Pregnancy
How to Tell if You’re Dealing with Depression During Pregnancy
Pregnancy is supposed to be a time filled with joy and anticipation, right? Afternoons filled with decorating your nursery and dreams of holding your baby for the very first time.
If you’re already a mother or have friends or family members who have kids, you may be laughing at this picturesque version of pregnancy! We know there’s always some level of excitement, but pregnancy is always rainbows and sunshine.
This is especially true if you’re suffering from depression.
Depression during pregnancy is more common than you think. In fact, it's estimated that roughly 1 in 7 pregnant women experience depression. Although it's nothing to be ashamed of, it's important to know the signs of depression during pregnancy.
Oftentimes, depression during pregnancy is not diagnosed properly because people write it off as another hormone shift. While this can sometimes be the case, there's no reason to be silent if you're suffering from depression.
In this article, you'll discover signs to look out for, how your baby can be affected and how to manage depression during pregnancy.
What are the Signs of Depression During Pregnancy?
Whether you have a history of depression or not, taking care of your mental health while you’re pregnant is important. Women with depression usually experience all or some of the following symptoms daily for more than 2 weeks:
- Difficulty focusing
- Sleeping too little or too much
- Increased anxiety
- Lack of interest in activities you usually enjoy
- Increased feelings of guilt
- Feelings of hopelessness
- Change in weight or eating habits
The important part of monitoring these symptoms is frequency. If you are experiencing these symptoms consistently, it's time to make an appointment with your doctor.
Can Depression During Pregnancy Cause Harm to Your Baby?
If depression during pregnancy is left untreated, it has the potential to create health risks for both you and your baby. The most common risk lies within the nature of depression. Depression often leads to the individual losing interest in their own self-care and well-being. From hygiene, diet, drinking, smoking and lack of physical activity, all of these habits directly affect your baby’s health.
By not taking care of yourself – physically, mentally and emotionally – you won’t be able to provide what your developing baby needs. Unfortunately, babies born to mothers suffering from depression can suffer from the following issues:
- They can be less active than babies born to mothers not suffering from depression
- They are less attentive
- They can become more easily agitated
Now that you have more than just yourself to think about, it’s important to seek help and support so both you and your baby can continue to stay healthy throughout your entire pregnancy.
Managing Depression During Your Pregnancy
Depression can be extremely grim, but there are plenty of ways to manage the symptoms and give both you and your baby some much deserved relief!
The first step is to talk to your doctor about what you're specifically going through. From there, they can recommend psychotherapy, participation in support groups or even just finding a sympathetic ear to share your feelings with.
If these solutions aren't enough, there is the option of medication. There is a lot of debate over how anti-depressants affect pregnancy. So, if you're considering medication, be sure to talk with your doctor first so they can develop a safe and healthy plan.
When it comes to a course of treatment for depression during pregnancy, it's all about finding the healthiest route for you and your baby. There’s no doubt that depression can be challenging, especially when you’re already dealing with hormones and fretting over your baby. But with the right care, you’ll gain the strength to overcome it!
At King’s Daughters' Health, Your Pregnancy is Our Top Priority
If you're pregnant and are concerned about being depressed, you don't have to go through it alone. King’s Daughters' Health is here to support you. Contact us today or schedule an appointment to discover how our doctors use a knowledgeable and compassionate approach to help you have a healthy pregnancy. At King’s Daughters' Health, you and your baby are treated like family.
CALL TODAY: 812-801-0856