Pregnancy

Depression during Pregnancy

Depression during pregnancy is a very serious medical condition that poses a risk for women and their babies. This is an illness that involves the mood, body, and thought and it affects how a woman feels about herself and thinks about things. Around 1 out of 5 women have the symptoms of depression during pregnancy. It is sometimes difficult to diagnose this disorder because some of the symptoms of depression are same as the ones found in pregnancy. Babies born to depressed mothers may be irritable, less active and attentive, and sometimes are even born prematurely or have low birth weight.

What are the symptoms of Depression during pregnancy?

A pregnant women is depressed feels blue or sad and they suffer from other symptoms that last for 2 weeks or longer. The other signs and symptoms include:

  • Sleeping too much
  • Guilty feeling
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Lack of interest
  • Loss of energy
  • Changes in appetite
  • Restlessness
  • Agitated behavior

Complications of Depression during Pregnancy

If a pregnant woman who is depressed is not given proper treatment, some serious complications for the mother and/or baby may develop including:

  • Poor prenatal care
  • Poor weight gain
  • Use of alcohol or drugs to self-medicate
  • Preeclampsia
  • Unhealthy eating habits
  • Suicidal thoughts

Risk Factors for Depression during Pregnancy

Some of the common risk factors of depression during pregnancy include:

  • Personal or family history of anxiety or depression
  • Difficulties in a relationship
  • Previous pregnancy loss
  • Stressful events in your life
  • Past history of sexual, physical or verbal abuse
  • Unplanned pregnancy if a women is single and young

Tips for a pregnant women with depression

If you are experiencing some of the symptoms of depression during pregnancy, some tips are listed below that may help you manage your symptoms:

  • Get plenty of rest at home..
  • Ask your family or friends to help you cope.
  • Discuss your feelings with family and friends
  • Do not make major life changes during pregnancy
  • Join a support group to cope up with the challenges.

Note:

If you are on antidepressant medications and know that you are pregnant, do not stop the medications without talking to your mental health care professional. Going off these medications suddenly can lead to further complications.

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