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Depression While Pregnant With Twins

If Youre A Depressed Mother


Several women experience depression during pregnancy. In fact, it is estimated that around ten percent of all pregnant women are depressed. This is not good for your child as it can have an adverse impact on her later on in life. Children born to women who are clinically depressed were found likely to experience depression themselves as adults besides being afflicted by emotional setbacks.

Whats The Difference Between Baby Blues And Postpartum Depression

The baby blues is a mild form of postpartum depression that many new moms experience. It usually starts 1 to 3 days after the birth and can last for 10 days to a few weeks. With baby blues, many women have mood swingshappy one minute and crying the next. They may feel anxious, confused, or have trouble eating or sleeping. Up to 80% of new moms have the baby blues. Its common, and it will go away on its own.

About 13% of new mothers experience postpartum depression, which is more serious and lasts longer. You are at a greater risk if you have a family history of depression or have had depression before.

Some of the symptoms include:

  • feeling like you cant care for your baby,
  • extreme anxiety or panic attacks,
  • trouble making decisions,
  • hopelessness, and
  • feeling out of control.

No one knows exactly what causes postpartum depression. If you think you have the symptoms, its important to get help right away. Postpartum depression needs to be treated. Talk to your doctor or call your local public health office.

What Is Antenatal Depression

Hormones are running rife during pregnancy and even more so with twins. Adjusting to the idea of a world where you have a new massive responsibility, a loss of career and knowing that your entire world is about to change is enough to freak any new Mama-to-be out.

But when things dont improve and life gets harder, thats when you need to consider it may be antenatal depression.

When we are pregnant, hormones run rampant through our bodies anyway and even more so when having twins! Your pregnancy hormones affect the chemicals in your brain, making you more anxious and in some cases depressed too. But antenatal depression is not just crazy hormones, it is a very real and serious threat to both your health and that of your twins too.

Often the first person to identify that things are not going quite right for you is yourself, but often we are too close to the problem to be a real advocate for ourselves. Chatting openly and honestly with your partner and midwife or obstetrician is probably the best way for them to get a handle on how you are doing.

Dont be afraid or ashamed to share what you are feeling, because you are not the only Mum to have had those thoughts before! Getting help now before you deliver your babies is one of the most positive steps you can take for all of your family.

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How To Cope With Depression During Pregnancy

Pregnancy is built up to be a treasured time in a womans life, and for many moms-to-be, the nine months leading up to giving birth is indeed a joyful, exciting period. But what if you feel anything but cheerful and glowing while expecting? Thats the reality for women who experience depression during pregnancy.

As a culture, we put a lot of pressure on women to be happy about the pregnancy, but for many women this is a time of tremendous stress, and its common to go through something like a grieving period as they prepare themselves for their new role as a mother, says Erin Spahr, LCPC, a psychotherapist at the Baltimore Therapy Group in Towson, Maryland, and founder of the Perinatal Mood Disorders Clinic at The Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center.

So how can you tell if youre dealing with prenatal depressionor just having a bad I-cant-deal-with-any-more-morning-sickness day? Read on for all you need to know about depression during pregnancy.

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What Is Prenatal Depression

Depression, Anxiety, PTSD and Twins

Prenatal depression is a mood disorder that affects 10 to 25 percent of expectant women, and research shows it may be becoming even more prevalent. Fluctuations in hormones throughout pregnancy can lead to mood swings, of course, but prenatal depression is more than passing feelings of sadness or stress. Instead, these emotions are persistent, intense and even debilitating.

Prenatal depression can also set new moms up for future mental health complications. Women who are suffering from depression during pregnancy may go on, during pregnancy or after delivery, to have more severe postpartum depression and should be monitored closely, says Amanda Itzkoff, MD, assistant professor of psychiatry at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City.

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Causes Of Crying When Pregnant

If you have been bursting into tears at the drop of a hat, do not think that something is wrong with you. A lot of pregnant women go through the same experience, and you are definitely not alone. There is a plethora of reasons why women are more likely to cry when pregnant. These include physical as well as emotional causes. Here are some:

How Safe Are Antidepressants During Pregnancy

If you take an antidepressant during pregnancy, there may be some risk of birth defects and other health problems for your baby. In most cases, the risk is low. But if you stop taking an antidepressant during pregnancy, your depression may come back. Dont start or stop taking any medicine during pregnancy without your providers OK.

You and your prenatal care provider and your mental health provider can work together to decide about treatment with antidepressants. Learn as much as you can about your medicine options so you can make the best choice for you and your baby. If youre taking an antidepressant and planning to get pregnant, talk to your prenatal and mental health providers before you get pregnant.

There are several kinds of antidepressants. Most affect chemicals in the brain called neurotransmitters, but each kind does it in a different way. And each has risks and benefits during pregnancy. Antidepressants that may be used during pregnancy include:

  • Serotonin reuptake inhibitors . SSRIs are the most commonly prescribed antidepressant medicines. SSRIs that may be used during pregnancy include citalopram , fluoxetine and sertraline .
  • Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors , like duloxetine and venlafaxine
  • Tricyclic antidepressants , like nortriptyline
  • Bupropion

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Are Antidepressants Safe For Pregnant Women

But the medical community is at odds over the risks and benefits of prescribing antidepressants during pregnancy. The USPSTF expert panel does not recommend that pregnant women diagnosed with depression take antidepressants, although it notes that the likelihood of serious fetal harms from their use is low. Instead, the panel recommends that pregnant women opt for cognitive behavioral therapy.

Nonetheless, between 3% and 13% of pregnant women are prescribed antidepressantsmostly SSRIs. Meta-analyses of research on the effects of SSRIs during pregnancy show conflicting results. Twostudies found that children exposed to SSRIs during pregnancy showed no differences in IQ, language development, or temperament. However, another study of 31 children found subtle effects of SSRIs on motor development and control in newborns.

Four studies examining anxiety in infants found no adverse effects of prenatal exposure to SSRIs. But one recent report in The Journal of the American Medical Association Pediatrics suggested that taking antidepressants during pregnancy could double the childs risk of autism, from about 1% to approximately 2%. That said, the autism study has a critical flaw, according to Roy Perlis, a psychiatric geneticist at Harvard quoted in the journal Science. Perlis notes that women suffering from psychiatric illnesses are already at greater risk of having children with autism spectrum disorder.

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The occurrence of prenatal depression is approximated to be 10 15% in developed countries as well as 19 25% in economically poorer nations. In Nigeria, there is scarceness of job done on prenatal depression, however of minority works done one released work reveals occurrence of antenatal depression to be 8.3%. Nursing indicators of rate of interest included very early initiation of breastfeeding at delivery, unique breastfeeding at shipment, at discharge and also exclusive breastfeeding in the beginning postnatal visit within the initial 6 weeks. Unique breastfeeding was defined postnatal depression on twins as babies aged 0 5 months who obtained just breast milk, yet allowed dental rehydration remedy, syrups of vitamins/medicines. These indications were based upon the World Wellness Organisation definitions for assessing infant as well as young child feeding practices. In the analyses, non-exclusive breastfeeding was assessed as infants aged 0 5 months that received various other fluids such as infant formula, fruit juice, water and water-based beverages, examined at distribution, discharge and also at 6 weeks postnatal.

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Postnatal Depression After Having Twins

The charity Tamba has identified some of the most common causes of postnatal depression in parents of multiple babies.

Caring for 2 babies is hard. You constantly have to split your time and attention between them and cannot give them the same type of care you’d give a single baby. Coping with 2 or more babies takes time to get used to.

A lack of sleep is more likely to affect mothers of multiple babies. Only 1 in 7 of mothers of multiples have 6 or more hours of sleep a night in the first year.

Twins are more likely to be cared for in the neonatal unit. It’s thought this could increase the chances of postnatal depression. This is because instead of being able to celebrate your babies’ birth, you may be coping with worry, stress and guilt.

And twin pregnancies are more prone to complications and the birth may be difficult, too. This means you can begin motherhood feeling low and exhausted.

You may find that the reality of caring for your babies does not match up to your expectations of motherhood.

If your twins are the result of IVF, for example, it may be hard to discuss these feelings with relatives and friends who assume you’re thrilled to have the babies you longed for.

How Usual Is Postpartum Depression

The existing extensive and also reasonably sizeable evaluation as well as meta-analyses have actually handled the problem, risk elements, and also impacts of PND on baby health and wellness end results in reduced and middle-income nations. The evaluation has consisted of 58 key researches on PND and 17 research studies exploring on PND effect on baby wellness end results in the past ten years. The review establishes that a substantial variety of postnatal mothers were depressed postnatal depression on twins, as well as their babies struggled with poor nutrition, common baby ailments, as well as non-exclusive breastfeeding. Is one of the most well known of postpartum psychological problems. Postnatal depression in low-and middle-income nations stays primarily without treatment, and there is expanding evidence that neglected PND causes negative infant health and wellness results. The existing systematic testimonial and meta-analysis highlighted the effect of PND on infant wellness as well as development.

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Tests Used During A Multiple Pregnancy

  • Blood pressure checks at every prenatal appointment are used to monitor you for high blood pressure or pre-eclampsia.
  • Blood testing is used to check you for low iron . Anemia is a common problem for women with multiple pregnancy, because the fetuses use a great amount of the mother’s iron stores.
  • A urine test and urine culture can be used to screen you for a urinary tract infection .
  • Transvaginal ultrasound may be used to check the length of your cervix. A short cervix is a sign of an increased risk of preterm labour.
  • In the second trimester, you may have an oral glucose screen to check for gestational diabetes.
  • Electronic fetal heart monitoring may be used before or during delivery, to make sure the fetuses are doing well.

More Signs And Symptoms Of Twin Pregnancy

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Depending on the early signs, you could decide whether or not you are pregnant with twins. But there are more signs which would help you reach a conclusion better.

  • Your doctor regularly checks the fundal height, which is taken from the top of the pubic bone to the top of the uterus. This indicates the development age of the fetus. The fundal height is the measure of the weeks you have progressed in pregnancy. If the measure is more than one centimeter a week, then it may be a sign of twin pregnancy.
  • Towards the end of the first trimester, the doctors may carry out a test called Doppler heartbeat count to detect the fetal heartbeat. If you are carrying twins, you can hear two hearts beat. However, the Doppler result is less accurate than ultrasound as it is difficult to differentiate one heartbeat from the other.
  • In twin pregnancy, shortness of breath is an early sign because of the thrust against the diaphragm put by two babies. You must consult your doctor if you feel uncomfortable.
  • Cramps are an early sign of twin pregnancy as the uterus enlarges more than normal.
  • Preterm labor is common during twin pregnancies and requires immediate medical attention.
  • Frequent back pains are a result of excess weight gain, uterus enlargement, and excess hormonal activity. Standing straight and holding your chest high can help you relax. Make sure to wear flats and avoid locking your knees while sitting.
  • You would be averse to the smell of food that can make you feel nauseated.

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Who Is Most Likely To Develop Postpartum Depression

PPD can affect any woman. It strikes women who experience easy pregnancies, as well as, those with difficult pregnancies. First-time mothers and mothers who have one or more children can also experience PPD. It doesnt matter if a new mom is married or single, and things like income, age, ethnicity, culture, and education make little difference in your risk of experiencing depression after birth.

One group of women who are at a higher risk of suffering from postpartum depression are moms of multiples . MoMs are much more likely to develop PPD than moms of singletons. While not all twin moms will experience symptoms, they are at an increased risk.

Antepartum Depression During My Twin Pregnancy

I had never heard of Antepartum Depression before my twin pregnancy. As I was sitting at a play area with my friend, the term came up. I was talking about all of the things I hated about my pregnancy as I watched a glowing pregnant woman across the room. I had never been a happy, glowy pregnant woman, that was clear with my first. I felt blessed, but I did not enjoy pregnancy. My friend disclosed that she had been depressed during her second pregnancy and it had wiped out all of her enjoyment. I began to realize what was happening to me was more than just gender disappointment, or feeling a little blue, I had actual depression.

According to the American Pregnancy Association, Antepartum Depression is defined as depression during pregnancy. It is a mood disorder just like clinical depression.

The pregnancy had caught me totally off-guard. We had thought about another child over the years since having our little girl but we had come to the conclusion that she was enough. We had barely gotten over the shock of the pregnancy when we had an early ultrasound revealing two babies. Initial excitement wore off quickly as my research about twin pregnancy rapidly became frightening. I feared pre-term NICU babies, losing one or both babies, difficulties with a twin birth, and the change in my family and career. I imagined all of the possible negative outcomes of my pregnancy. I could not conceptualize a happy ending. This was a striking difference from the normal me.

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If Im Depressed Will It Affect My Children

Depression is treatable. But if it is not treated, it will affect your children.

Moms who are depressed may have trouble caring for their children. They may be loving one minute and withdrawn the next. They may respond to their child in a negative way or not respond at all. Your feelings and your behaviour will affect your ability to care for your children.

Depression can also affect attachment, which is important for your childs development. Attachment is a deep emotional bond that a baby forms with the person who provides most of his care. A secure attachment develops quite naturally. A mother responds to her crying infant, offering whatever she feels her baby needsfeeding, a diaper change, cuddling. Secure attachment helps protect against stress and is an important part of a babys long-term emotional health. It makes a baby feel safe and secure, and helps him learn to trust others.

If youre depressed, you may have trouble being loving and caring with your baby all the time. This can lead to an insecure attachment, which can cause problems later in childhood.

How a mothers depression affects her child depends on the childs age.

Babies who dont develop a secure attachment may:

  • have trouble interacting with their mother ,
  • have problems sleeping,
  • may be delayed in their development,
  • have more colic,

What Are The Signs Of Depression

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Depression can come on slowly. The symptoms are different for everyone. They can be mild, moderate or severe. Some of the more common signs are:

  • changes in appetite, like eating too much or having little interest in food,
  • changes in sleep, such as trouble sleeping or sleeping too much,
  • lack of energy,
  • feeling sad, hopeless or worthless,
  • crying for no reason, and
  • loss of interest or pleasure in activities you normally enjoy.

New moms with depression may have trouble caring for their baby. They might not want to spend time with their baby, which can lead to a baby who cries a lot.

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