Pregnancy, for most women is one of the happiest times of their life, but for others it can be a time of confusion, fear, sadness, and even depression. According to the American Pregnancy Association, approximately 10-20% of women will struggle with some symptoms of depression during pregnancy, with approximately 25-50% of those who experience symptoms will suffer from a major depression. So what is depression? Depression is a disorder that affects 1 in 4 women at some point during their lifetime, so it should be no surprise that this illness would also touch women who are pregnant. But all too often, depression is not diagnosed properly during pregnancy because people think it is just another type of hormonal imbalance. This assumption can be dangerous for the mother and the unborn baby.
- Persistent sadness
- Difficulty concentrating
- Sleeping too little or too much
- Loss of interest in activities that you usually enjoy
- Frequent, recurring thoughts of death, suicide, or hopelessness
- Anxious thoughts
- Feelings of guilt or worthlessness
- Change in eating habits (diminished appetite or eating too much, especially of carbohydrate rich foods)
Causes of depression can be any of the following:
- Relationship problems
- Family or personal history of depression
- Previous pregnancy loss due to miscarriage or abortion
- Stressful life events
- Complications in pregnancy
- History of abuse or trauma
- Infertility treatments
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms for more than two weeks, it’s time to get some help, professionally. Talk with your health care provider about counseling/ psychological support. You are worth it and so is your baby!!
This article is for informational purposes only and is not meant to replace medical treatment.