Pregnant and Depressed: Dealing with Depression during Pregnancy

Beatrice J. Doty
Depression for Women During Pregnancy

Learning that you are having a baby can be one of the most life-changing events in your life. The fact that your body is nurturing your little one as it grows and develops each day is can be overwhelming. But then, not all pregnancies are planned nor wanted.

The hard truth is that not all women who become pregnant want to carry full-term. Others got pregnant after they made a series of mistakes. For others, they became a victim of abuse.

But even if you are happy with your relationship with your partner, you can still feel depressed during pregnancy. Different factors can cause your depression. Know that you are not alone in feeling apathetic and depressed.

Depression in Pregnant Women

According to studies, 7% of women experience feelings of depression during pregnancy. The feelings of lack of interest and depression can be due to the hormone changes that happen when a woman carries a baby in her tummy. The changes in hormones can influence the chemicals in your brain, thus causing anxiety, stress, and depression.

One can experience different signs and symptoms while pregnant and depressed. Some of these are as follows.

  • Eating less or less
  • Sleeping too much or difficulty sleeping
  • Losing interest in the things you do
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Having headaches and body pain
  • Withdrawing from your loved ones
  • Feeling sad, guilty, hopeless, overwhelmed
  • Thinking about harming yourself

Untreated Depression During Pregnancy

Depression during pregnancy can put you and yourself at many risks. For one, you might not find the energy and need to take good care of yourself and your baby. You might feel like you need to use an unhealthy outlet just to relieve yourself of depression. You might think hurting or killing yourself is the answer to end your problems.

Note that depression can also harm your baby even if you don’t act out on your negative thoughts. They may turn up to be too small for their gestational age, be born prematurely, or even have a lower birth weight. They may be less active, more irritable, and less attentive or have developmental, behavioral, mental, or learning issues later in life.

The cause of depression can be a combination of many things. If left untreated, this can go on even after you give birth. You may find it hard to take care of your baby, provide for his or her needs, or even end up doing things that can eventually harm your little one.

Managing Depression When You Are Pregnant

The first thing you need to do is ensure you get the necessary help from the pros. Tell your doctor about how you feel, so they can recommend you to the right specialists. They can treat you through medications, counseling, support groups, and electroconvulsive therapy (ECT).

You can try other things that can help you boost your mood and take away your negative thoughts. For one, getting a prenatal massage from a licensed therapist can help you find pain relief. Relaxing your body is a good way to ease the mind, reduce your stress, and improve your quality of sleep.

It is important that you take self-care seriously. Don’t deprive yourself of healthy pregnancy food. Keep yourself active and as much as possible, get enough rest and sleep.

Enjoy the support of your loved ones, especially your partner. Now is not the time to keep quiet and fight your battle alone. Their love and support will give you more strength to hold and live a healthier life for you and your baby.

Talk to them about your feelings, struggles, and stress triggers. Them listening to your worries can oftentimes be enough to lessen your load. The important thing is that you get to vent out and say how you feel.

Staying active is a good way to release your stress and keep your body healthy and strong during pregnancy. Deep breathing slows down cortisol release; therefore, lowering your stress levels. Whenever you feel stressed out, take some time to breathe the fresh air outside and walk in nature.

You also have the option to engage in yoga and meditation. These are typically safe exercises for pregnant women. Instead of wallowing in sadness, you can opt to stay productive and do something that will benefit your health.

If there is that negative voice inside your head urging you to do negative things, choose the opposite of what it says. For instance, if it tells you to skip your meals because you have no appetite, do the opposite and eat a nutritious meal. If it asks you to skip your daily exercise and you are not in any pain nor do you have a medical condition urging you to stay in bed, opt for a nice walk instead.

Depression is not uncommon in pregnancy. Many things can cause you to feel sad and burned out. But there are things you can do to stop depression from ruining your pregnancy. Seek the help of your loved ones and healthcare providers and you can fight depression for you and your unborn child’s sake.

Meta title: Fighting Depression during Pregnancy

Meta desc: Some mothers get depressed while they are pregnant. Read on and learn what you can do to stop feelings of depression from harming your pregnancy.

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