Mood swings at the time pregnancy is a common thing. Because of the fluctuation of hormones in your body, your emotions will also undergo drastic change frequently. You will start feeling sad, worthless, and hopeless at times. It happens because of the extra stress on your reproductive system. However, if you are feeling anxious all the time during your pregnancy, then it could be a sign of depression. Facing depression at the time of pregnancy is a thing of concern, and it can also be tackled. Some pregnant women get over this problem of depression quite early, and some might struggle to recover even after the delivery. So, consulting with the doctor will be a wise option. Here is everything you need to know about depression during pregnancy and how you can tackle it.
Depression During Pregnancy: What Is It?
Does Depression Affect Your Pregnancy And The Baby?
If you have depression at the time of your pregnancy, then certain problems might arise. Here are some of the problems that you might face due to depression during pregnancy:
A high risk of having a miscarriage
Problems with fetal development
The low weight of the baby during birth
Postpartum depression might increase the following risks for the mother and baby:
Increased sense of separation
A high chance of anxiety
The problem of interaction between the mother and baby
Issues with developing new skills for a baby
What Are The Symptoms Of Depression?
Most people misjudge the symptoms of depression with subtle mood swings. So, gauging the signs and symptoms of depression during pregnancy is tough because each symptom is interlinked with something else. Let’s take the example of sleep disturbances, which happens during pregnancy quite often, and it is also a sign of depression. However, there are some symptoms which will indicate depression if they last for more than a week. Some of those symptoms are:
Feeling hopeless, worthless, irritated, anxious, and empty all the time
Crying because of no apparent reason
Lack of energy in the body
Severe to mild headaches all the time
Overeating or less eating
Lack of sleep or oversleeping
Problems with memory
Loss of interest in activities which one enjoys
Lack of communication among family and friends
What Are The Causes Of Depression During Pregnancy?
Family History of Depression: If someone in your family had a depression problem in the past, then you can get it too.
Past Cases of Depression: If you had depression in the past due to miscarriage or various other reasons, then it can come back during your pregnancy as well.
Isolation from the Close Ones: You are staying away from your family or partner then that can also cause a sense of depression.
A Bad Incident in Life: During your pregnancy, if you recall any terrible incident that happened in the past, then you might start having depression.
Unexpected Pregnancy: If your pregnancy was not planned, then it could cause depression.
Family Problems: Certain problems in your family at the time of pregnancy could lead to depression.
Fertility Treatment: During fertility treatments, you experience a considerable shift in the hormonal levels of your body, which could lead to depression as well.
What To Do If You Are Diagnosed With Depression During Pregnancy?
Consult with your doctor if you have depression. If you are not comfortable in stating your condition, you can write it to your doctor as well. Also, you can talk to other women who are going through the same problems by joining a support group. Your doctor will talk to you regarding any treatment method that you might need.
How Is Depression Treated During Pregnancy?
There different ways of dealing with depression during pregnancy. Here are some of the more common things your doctor may advise according to your symptoms:
Psychotherapy where you will have to share your feeling with a counselor
Interacting with other people suffering from depression by joining online communities and support groups
The doctor might prescribe antidepressant medications to relieve depression
Electroconvulsive Therapy or ECT where the doctors use infiltrates the brain by passing an electric current
Most doctors will recommend psychotherapy over any other therapy because of the possible side-effects with other treatments.
How Safe Are Antidepressants During Pregnancy?
How Safe Are Antidepressants During Pregnancy?
Those who used to take antidepressant regularly but stopped because of pregnancy could find their depression returning. Therefore, you should be consulting about it with your doctor who might prescribe the following antidepressants:
Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors or SSRIs
Tricyclic and Tetracyclic Antidepressants
Serotonin and Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors or SNRIs
Some of these antidepressants could be safe to use, but some of them might result in low weight for the babies during birth or miscarriage and other side-effects.
What Are The Natural Remedies For Treating Depression During Pregnancy?
Here are some of the natural remedies that you can also use to tackle depression without using antidepressants:
Get enough sleep and rest as it will ensure a healthy pregnancy
Consume nutritious foods which will also improve your mental state
Exercise regularly as exercise will help to reduce cortisol and improve the condition of depression
Include foods in your diet which are high in omega-3 as it will reduce depression symptoms
Acupuncture has also proven to be an effective way of treating depression
Can You Take Herbal Remedies For Depression?
One common herbal remedy that you might come across while dealing with depression is St. John’s Wort. However, the lack of research made on it about taking it during pregnancy is one reason why you might want to avoid it as the results are unknown. You should be taking the help of your doctor before taking any step about this.
What Are The Complications Of Untreated Depression During Pregnancy?
Pregnant women will face the risk of miscarriage, preeclampsia, suicidal tendencies, and much more. They might also get indulged in bad habits like alcohol, smoking, and drug usage.
Babies might face the problem of low weight at the time of birth, premature birth, and developmental problems.
Children might struggle to establish social contacts, suffer from emotional and behavioral difficulties, and also might struggle to learn things easily.
Pregnancy is a stage where the hormones in your body fluctuate, and because of that, the emotions also start to fluctuate a lot leading to mood swings. If your mood swings are persistent, then you might want to bring that to the notice of your doctor. Remember, being vigilant about your body and mind is one of the best ways to have a safe pregnancy.