Pregnancy And Depression – Understanding The Symptoms And Coping

June 27, 2012 · Posted in Pregnancy 

Pregnancy is not at all wonderful journey. It can be stressful at times as many pregnant women are suffering from depression. In fact, pregnancy can worsen the symptoms of depression in women who are already coping with it.

What are the common symptoms of depression?

Some symptoms of depression are taken as symptoms of pregnancy such as fatigue. Whenever a pregnant woman suffers from a variety of chronic symptoms of depression, it would always be best to seek for immediate medical advice.

Changes in sleeping pattern is probably the most common initial sign of depression in pregnant women. These changes in sleeping pattern include unusual wakefulness during the night, excessive sleeping and insomnia. Dyspepsia and a kicking baby can cause the change in sleeping patterns but there could be other factors that may have triggered this condition. A change in eating behavior and appetite is also normal for people who have been diagnosed with depression. Binge eating and under-eating may indicate depression but there could be other factors that trigger this significant change.

Withdrawal from things and activities that were once enjoyed is a major indicator of depression. Pregnancy is definitely an exciting and pleasurable journey however those who have been diagnosed with depression complain about numbness and that they cannot see themselves thriving until the end of their pregnancy. On the other hand, excessive emotion and high levels of anxiety may indicate a depressive illness. If a woman suffers from mood swings in between, she may be diagnosed by a bipolar disorder which is once known as manic depression.

How To Cope With Depression During Pregnancy

Anti-depressant medications can still be taken by pregnant women or those who have been diagnosed with depression. However, it should be under the supervision of a professional doctor to secure the baby’s health and safety. Furthermore, they have an in-depth knowledge as to the kinds of anti-depressant medications which would work best with your pregnancy and when you to breastfeed your baby. Furthermore, they can tell you if medication is still necessary after the pregnancy. Many doctors would recommend joining a social support group, seeking health from mental health institutions like SANE and acquiring the private counseling.

Who is the most at risk of suffering from mental health disorders during pregnancy and how can the risk be mitigated?

Most women do not suffer from any form of mental disorder during the course of their pregnancy but those who are, mostly suffered from a mental disorder in the past and are experiencing complications with their pregnancy. For instance, hyperemisis, a condition that is primarily characterized by an excessive sickness that continues to manifest until the end of pregnancy, is commonly associated with depression such that many experts have come to believed that hyperemisis is caused by depression while others argue that it’s the other way around.

Honesty and openness in revealing about you and your family’s mental health status and history to the health care providers are important in reducing the risk of suffering from the symptoms of depression during pregnancy.

If you are presently suffering from a mental health disorder, your doctor may recommend an alteration in your medication to secure the health and safety of your baby, as well as to help you in managing the new or/and changing depressive symptoms. In many cases, abrupt cessation of taking anti-depressant medication triggers the symptoms to recur and worsen drastically during the course of pregnancy.

It is important to take healthy foods and be active most of the time. You should be able to maintain a healthy weight level to reduce your risk of suffering from immobility and joint problems later in your pregnancy. Exercise and take time to relax to ward off depression. Take time to go out and mingle with friends to reduce the risk of suffering from a mental health disorder in the future. And lastly, intake of alcohol and caffeine is strongly discouraged.

Many women suffer from the debilitating symptoms of depression during pregnancy. I just discovered a great website that offers cool facts about pregnancy and depression. Check it out!


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