Did you know that depression among pregnant women is higher than in women suffering from depression from other causes? Yes, depression during pregnancy is a serious problem and can affect the physical and mental health of the patient seriously if left untreated or in case of not being diagnosed properly.
It is common knowledge that pregnancy can impact hormone levels in a big way and also bring about changes in brain chemicals. Pregnant women are known to experience changes at both physical and emotional levels. In many women, these changes can often lead to depression.
How To Identify If You Suffer From Depression
Depression is difficult to understand and diagnose as it develops very slowly and the symptoms can vary from one person to another. However, there are specific changes that take place in a person’s routine lifestyle which points towards the onset of depression.
- Changes in appetite
- A noticeable difference in sleep habits
- Sadness and despair most of the times
- Low energy level
- Disinterested in work and disconnected with family members and friends
- Crying for no apparent reason
If you have been experiencing all or any of the above-mentioned symptoms of depression, it is important to see a physician as quickly as possible. Women often ignore these changes in their habits and behavior and avoid seeing a doctor. This can make matters worse. Depression is an illness that can be cured using proper and timely treatment.
Many women who suffer depression during pregnancy are worried about the impact their depression might have on the child. This fear is more pronounced in those who are taking medication while they are pregnant.
Can Depression Affect Your Baby’s Health?
Studies have been conducted on the long term impact on children who are born to mothers with depression. Research reveals that babies born of women with high levels of depression symptoms before and during pregnancy had a slightly different brain structure when compared to those of babies born of women with no signs and symptoms of depression.
The Treatment Options
Women struggling with depression must seek professional support, along with the help of their loved ones. Share your symptoms and concerns with your physician and discuss the options available that can help you manage the condition better with minimal harm to your health and of your baby. There are medical as well as non-medical approaches to treating depression during and after pregnancy.
The medical approach involves antidepressants which your physician will prescribe. The dosage will be adjusted based on your condition and requirements. The risks and benefits will be closely examined. Necessary precautions are taken to make sure that the baby in the womb does not suffer any adverse effects of the antidepressants you are taking.
The non-medical approach to treating depression in pregnant women includes psychotherapy. You can see a trained therapist who will help you manage your emotions and control your thoughts without having to take any medications. Light therapy is also being used to relieve the symptoms of depression in many countries.
Finding support groups is a great way of sharing your thoughts and to remain in a positive frame of mind.