Pregnancy and Parenting Features

Depression and Your Pregnancy

Feeling depressed during pregnancy is a relatively common thing. While many women will feel at least a little bit down or sad at various times during pregnancy, it’s estimated that about 10 percent of women will experience full-blown depression during pregnancy. It’s important to understand a little bit about what can cause depression during pregnancy, and to know what can be done to help treat depression while you’re pregnant.

When you’re pregnant, your body is going through changes. Your hormones levels are fluctuating in ways that they just don’t normally, and you can feel like you’re all over the place in terms of your mood. There are other things going on during pregnancy, not the least of which is the major lifestyle changes that pregnancy makes on a woman.

A woman who has a personal history or a family history of depression is also more likely to have some experience of depression while you’re pregnant. These things aren’t a prerequisite, of course, as anyone can become depressed during pregnancy.

When you’re pregnant, there are symptoms to watch for that will let you know you might be depressed. Examples include a decrease in pleasure, changes in sleeping patters, changes in appetite, loss of energy or fatigue, problems concentrating, feelings of guilt, restlessness, irritability, and thoughts of suicide. If these symptoms last for two weeks or more, it’s considered clinical depression. You don’t have to have all of those symptoms for it to be considered depression.

Some antidepressant medications have been tested for use during pregnancy, and some haven’t. Some are all right on a short-term basis, some are not. It’s important to discuss your options with your doctor in this regard. Most women who experience pregnancy-related depression may benefit from therapy, whether it’s traditional talk therapy, or whether it’s something like cognitive behavioral therapy or interpersonal therapy.

There are some alternative medicines for use during pregnancy that can be a wonderful aid to your health care provider’s treatment plan. You might consider certain dietary supplements, and many women experience some relief using aromatherapy and other treatments.?

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