What Is Depression While Pregnant
Depression in pregnancy is a category of mood disorder due to change in chemical coordination of brain. Other mood disorders are obsessive-compulsive disorder and panic disorder. It is also known as antepartum depression.
The key point to differentiate sadness from depression is the duration of mental state.
Depression is persistent sadness. After a pregnant woman experiences the symptoms for more than two weeks she is considered for being depressed.
What Are Some Of The Signs Of Depression During Pregnancy
During pregnancy, your body goes through many changes. You may experience a lot of different emotions throughout pregnancy sometimes carrying you up the emotional roller coaster, and sometimes down. Its okay to feel all of these different emotions. However, if you find youre having any of the following symptoms during your pregnancy, it could be depression and you should reach out to your healthcare provider right away. Signs of depression during pregnancy can include:
- Having recurrent thoughts of death or suicide.
- Having a depressed mood for most of the day, nearly early day, for the last two weeks.
- Feeling guilty, hopeless or worthless.
- Having difficulty thinking, concentrating or making decisions.
- Losing interest or pleasure in most activities during the day, nearly every day, for the last two weeks.
If you have any of the above symptoms your provider may ask you the following questions:
- Over the past two weeks, have you felt down, depressed or hopeless?
- Over the past two weeks, have you felt little interest or pleasure in doing things?
If you answer yes to either of these questions, your healthcare provider will ask you more questions during a more in-depth depression screening test.
What Is The Difference Between Baby Blues And Postpartum Depression
Baby blues and postpartum depression differ in duration. While baby blues last for ten days to a few weeks, postpartum depression lasts longer and is detrimental to your health. Baby blues start one to three days after childbirth, and postpartum depression begins a few months after birth.
Women with baby blues experience mood swings, feel confused, anxious, and face trouble sleeping or eating. Symptoms of postpartum depression include extreme panic, difficulty in making decisions, hopelessness, and feelings of inadequacy, sadness and being out of control.
Pregnancy is a phase of hormonal changes transformed into a foray of emotions. When you are pregnant, your body harbors and nurtures a new life. Be mindful of the oncoming happiness whenever you feel low but sometimes you may feel overwhelmed. And that is alright. If you find that you are unable to control your emotions and that is disturbing your day-to-day functioning, go to a doctor immediately.
Always remember that depression is not your fault and there is help at hand.
Have anything to share about depression during pregnancy? Tell us about it in the comments section.
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If I Take Antidepressants During My Pregnancy Will They Hurt My Baby
You may think you should stop taking medication for depression when you are pregnant. Remember that, if left untreated, depression can have serious effects for both you and your baby. If you are taking antidepressants and are thinking about getting pregnant , talk to your doctor first, before stopping any medication. You can also consult the following trusted resources: www.mothertobaby.org, www.medicinesinpregnancy.org.
Some newborn babies may have symptoms such as irritability, fast breathing, tremors and poor feeding if their mothers took antidepressants during pregnancy. These symptoms are usually mild and pass quickly, usually within 2 weeks. These babies typically respond well to a quiet environment, swaddling, skin-to-skin contact, and frequent small feeds. Serious problems such as heart defects or more severe breathing issues are very rare.After your baby is born, they will be watched closely to make sure they are healthy. Your doctors and nurses will make sure that you are both well before letting you go home. You may need to stay an extra day or two in the hospital so that they can be sure.
What Drug Will Make Me Happy
Stimulants can make you feel in a good mood, full of energy, and less hungry. They include the illegal drugs cocaine and crack. There also are prescription stimulants, like Ritalin that can be safe if used as directed but that are dangerous if misused.
There isnt a depression test a medical professional can use to see if you have it, so figuring that out frequently starts with a comprehensive background and physical examination. Finding the best therapy for you may spend some time, so be open with your carrier about what is and also isnt functioning. Study natural remedies major depression suggests activities like reflection, yoga exercise, deep breathing, and also also journaling may aid you improve your feeling of wellness as well as really feel even more connected to whats occurring around you. If youre incapable to hang out together in person, telephone call or video clip conversations can additionally be practical.
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Does Depression Pose Increased Risks To My Baby
Untreated, severe depression can increase some risks to you and your baby thats why its so important to promptly get the support and the treatments that work best for you.
Even moderate depression can impair your quality of life.
Problems can arise because when were depressed, we dont tend to take optimal care of ourselves. If this happens during pregnancy women are more likely to:
- Skimp on nutrition
- Skip prenatal visits
- Use harmful substances
This can increase the risk of premature birth, having a low birth weight baby, medical problems in the pregnancy, and problems at birth.
Increasing numbers of studies are also showing that depression, stress, and anxiety in the pregnant mom influences and alters the expression of the babys genes, increasing the childs lifetime risk of mental health problems.
Prenatal depression also increases the risk of postpartum depression, which, if untreated, can lead to developmental, behavioral, and mental health problems in the baby, as well as problems that arise from neglect if mom is unable to fully care for the baby.
On top of it, all of this can also have an impact on your self-esteem and confidence as a new mom, and this can also negatively affect your parenting.
But not to worry there is help!
How Can I Help Myself
Depression can make you want to hide away from the world and you may feel like you dont want to do anything. But it is important to make sure you take care of yourself. Start with little activities, take things at your own pace and most importantly, ask for help if you need it. Here are a few ideas for what you can do.
- Talk to someone you trust about your feelings, such as your partner, family or a friend.
- Try not to feel guilty, ashamed or embarrassed. These feelings are not your fault.
- Try some of our top tips for looking after your emotional wellbeing.
- Exercise as much as you can. Keeping active will release some feel-good endorphins.
- Eat well even if you dont have much appetite.
- Avoid alcohol and smoking. This can harm your baby and make you feel worse.
- Dont take St Johns Wort .
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Assess The Parts Instead Of Generalizing The Whole
Depression can tinge recollections with negative emotions. You may find yourself focusing on the one thing that went wrong instead of the many things that went right.
Try to stop this overgeneralization. Push yourself to recognize the good. If it helps, write down what was happy about the event or day. Then write down what went wrong.
Seeing the weight youre giving to one thing may help you direct your thoughts away from the whole and to the individual pieces that were positive.
Depression In Pregnancy: The Ultimate Guide To Natural Remedies That Can Help You Heal
Oh mama, depression in pregnancy is such a challenge. When I feel depressed, I feel like Tinkerbelle without her fairy dust. I feel unable to appreciate life, dull, sad, I can see life, but I dont feel a part of it.
Its a strange separation. Depression in pregnancy is extra challenging when many people believe this era of life should be nothing but joyfully blissful. Its not. And it doesnt have to be.
Depression robs individuals of the feeling of being able to fly and dance through life. If you are struggling to cope, you are not alone.
This post is to help answer common questions about depression in pregnancy and help you know what your options are. Only you know what the next right step for you is. I hope this helps you tune into it.
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Natural Treatments For Depression
There are also non-prescription or alternative treatments for depression such as St. Johns wort. Rigorous, formal research does not exist regarding the risk of exposure to supplements like St. Johns wart in pregnancy.
However, anyone planning to use St. John’s wort needs to be aware of potential interactions. For example, taking St. John’s wort with medications, supplements, or foods containing 5-hydroxytryptophan , L-tryptophan, or SAMe, can increase your risk for developing serotonin syndrome.
As with medications, ask your doctor about taking a nutritional supplement or herbal remedy if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Take A Walk In The Sunlight
Lack of vitamin D has been found in many chronic illnesses, including depression. Unfortunately, the synthetic version found in a supplement is not the same thing you get when you spend time outdoors. Do what you can to spend time in the sunshine every day. Start a small garden, go for a daily walk, enjoy a picnic. Studies show simply being outside can be an effective treatment for depression for some people.
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Herbs And Supplements To Help Fight Depression
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Depression is a mental health condition that affects more than 17 million adults in the United States alone. However, the actual number is thought to be much higher, as many people with depression dont seek treatment for various reasons .
Below are the five classifications of depressive disorders, which share features like sadness, irritable mood, a feeling of emptiness, and cognitive changes that affect functioning (
- premenstrual dysphoric disorder
- depressive disorder due to another medical condition
Depressive disorders are treated with medication and psychotherapy. In addition, lifestyle modifications, including making dietary changes and taking certain supplements, may also help people in recovery and relapse prevention.
For example, some research shows that specific vitamins, minerals, herbs, and other compounds may provide added benefits in improving depressive symptoms.
That being said, herbs and dietary supplements are not monitored by the Food and Drug Administration in the same way as medications. So, you cant always be certain of what youre getting and whether its safe.
Additionally, more studies are needed to determine which natural supplements are more likely to help with depression, and what side effects they may cause.
What Are Some Causes Of Depression During Pregnancy
Some women who experience antepartum depression have a history of major depression prior to pregnancy. However, many women have their first experience of depression while they’re pregnant. Antepartum depression is thought to be caused by a combination of hormonal changes and psychological disturbances associated with pregnancy. Physical changes, such as changes in body and changes in sleep and eating habits, while normal aspects of pregnancy, can also contribute to the development of antepartum depression. Risk factors for antepartum depression include:
- Personal or family history of depression
- Stressful life events, like the death or illness of a loved one
- Lack of a partner or social support during pregnancy
- Relationship problems, including domestic violence
- History of abuse or trauma
- Financial stress, including poverty
- Unplanned pregnancy
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Can Dads Experience Depression After The Baby Arrives
Studies show that father of the child too can have depression 2
Often fathers coping with financial crisis or issues while raising their child have episodes of depression. Always remember that trigger of depression is not hormonal in dads. If youre able to be mentally healthy youll be able to save him and your baby too.
What Are The Symptoms Of Antenatal Depression
“Pregnancy is meant to be such a happy time but because we dont talk about mental health in pregnancy women dont know that it can be a very different story.”
Typical signs of depression include if you:
- feel generally down most of the time
- cant be bothered with things
- cant concentrate or make decisions
- dont enjoy life
- feel irritable and dont want to be with other people
- feel restless and agitated
- feel guilty
- think about harming yourself or suicide.
You may not have all these symptoms and they may come on gradually or you may suddenly start to feel very low.
If you feel like you want to harm yourself or feel like you want to die, its important to tell someone. This could be a family member, friend, your GP or midwife. Help is available now if you need it. You can call the Samaritans on 116 123.
“I wasnt sleeping well and Id wake up with that horrible feeling of doom starting every day. Id cry at the drop of a hat about things that wouldnt normally make me cry.”
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What Is The Treatment For Depression
Treatment for depression usually involves a combination of self-help, talking therapies (such as counselling or cognitive behavioural therapy and medicines.
Everyone is different, so treatments that may work for some people may not work for others. Your doctor will help you decide whats best for you. You will probably also be referred to a perinatal mental health specialist and will be monitored more closely during and after your pregnancy.
The treatment you have will be your decision. Your healthcare professional can help you by talking to you about what youd like to do and explaining the risks and benefits of all options.
They will also talk to you about:
- whats best for your stage of pregnancy
- any risks medication may pose to your baby
- the risk that you might become unwell again without medication
- how bad your symptoms are
- whether you have had the condition before
- how well the medication has worked for you so far, if you are already taking it.
If the recommended treatment is antidepressants, your doctor will discuss the risks of the treatment to your baby, including:
- what is known about their safety during pregnancy
- whether the baby may have some mild symptoms when born and whether breastfeeding may reduce the possibility of these occurring.
If you understand the risks to you and your baby and still decide to stop medication, your doctor should talk to you about other ways to manage your symptoms. For example, they may suggest talking therapies.
Natural Approaches To Depression In Pregnancy
Youre full of new life! Overjoyed, right?
Actually, if youre among the 1 in 10 or even more pregnant women who struggle with the symptoms of depression, then you might not be feeling overjoyed at all. While you may be happy to be pregnant, this may be overshadowed by cloudy feelings
I know it can be really tough to admit we’re depressed when everyone else thinks we should be ecstatic. Many women have told me they fear they will be judged by others as bad moms for admitting they feel miserable. And it can be terrifying to imagine taking care of a baby when you feel you can barely get a smile on for the day.
You may also feel very alone with your concerns.
Your midwife or doctor, and even your friends and family, might not recognize that youre depressed. Your symptoms may be mistaken as simply normal changes of pregnancy due to hormonal shifts and other physiologic changes. After all, fatigue, changes in eating habits, sleep problems, general aches and pains, changes in mood, irritability, and tearfulness all of these are normal during pregnancy, right?
The answer is sometimes, but not always. When mild and infrequent, these symptoms may be normal, but they are also classic signs of depression!
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Are There Any Natural Treatments
With the controversy regarding the use of some antidepressants during pregnancy, many women are interested in other ways to help treat depression. As mentioned above, support groups, psychotherapy, and light therapy are alternatives to using medication when treating mild to moderate depression.In addition to these, you may want to talk with your health care providers about some of the other natural ways to help relieve the symptoms of depression.
If you do not feel comfortable talking with your health care provider about your feelings of depression, find someone else to talk with. It is important that someone knows what you are dealing with and can try to help you. Never try to face depression alone. Your baby needs you to seek help and get treatment.
Want to Know More?
Icipating In Clinical Research
Clinical trials are research studies that look at new ways to prevent, detect, or treat diseases and conditions. The goal of clinical trials is to determine if a new test or treatment works and is safe. Although individuals may benefit from being part of a clinical trial, participants should be aware that the primary purpose of a clinical trial is to gain new scientific knowledge so that others may be better helped in the future.
Researchers at NIMH and around the country conduct many studies with patients and healthy volunteers. We have new and better treatment options today because of what clinical trials uncovered years ago. Be part of tomorrows medical breakthroughs. Talk to your doctor or health care provider about clinical trials, their benefits and risks, and whether one is right for you.
For more information about clinical research and how to find clinical trials being conducted around the country, visit NIMH’s clinical trials information webpage.
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