Have you ever heard of Antenatal or Prenatal depression? Even if you haven’t heard it before, by the terms antenatal, prenatal you can understand that it is related to pregnancy and you must be wondering why depression would be related to pregnancy. Well, if you are still puzzled, here is a brief article which explains you all about prenatal depression.
Though many people consider pregnancy as a time of happiness, few women will be depressed at some time during pregnancy. It is common to experience emotional changes along with the physical changes during pregnancy. But prenatal depression is different from the other emotional changes. It includes the negative emotions that last longer than two weeks and interrupt your functionality in everyday life.
It is not strange for women to experience changing emotions during pregnancy, a woman may feel moody or tearful or angry from time to time. But if she feels exhausted all the time or lost interest in herself or in her pregnancy, always feel low or anxious or angry or can’t sleep, then she might have prenatal depression.
Pregnancy is a time of cheerfulness, fulfillment and joy. But the depression during pregnancy can be difficult both for women and the people around them to accept and recognize. While other mothers feel happy and excited when they are pregnant, mother with prenatal depression often feel a sense of desperation and fear. So, prenatal depression can be described as thief of joy for pregnant women and it need to be treated as early as it has been recognized.
Symptoms of Prenatal Depression:
Prenatal depression can begin at any point of time during pregnancy and is characterized as having a increased level of worry than normal about the impending birth and parenthood. It is often difficult to diagnose the symptoms of prenatal depression as its symptoms mirror so many other symptoms which are seen in a normal pregnancy. Some of the symptoms of prenatal depression include:
- Lack of energy or fatigue
- Feeling guilt or worthlessness
- Frequent crying or weeping
- Intense anxiety
- Changes in eating habits
- Insomnia or excessive sleep
- Difficulty in concentrating
- Loss of interest in activities usually they enjoy
- Persistent sadness
- Irritability or anger
Causes of Prenatal Depression:
Antenatal depression is usually thought to be caused by a combination of hormonal changes and psychological disturbances associated with pregnancy. Some of the other causes which contributes to develop prenatal depression are:
- Having a family history of mental health issues.
- Maternal age ; the younger the woman at the time of pregnancy, the higher the risk.
- Living alone or lack of family support
- Limited social support
- Marital conflicts
- Uncertainty about pregnancy.
Complications of Prenatal Depression:
When compared to non depressed pregnant women, women with prenatal depression are more likely to develop various pregnancy complications such as severe nausea, vomiting and preeclampsia; a condition of high blood pressure during pregnancy. If prenatal depression is left untreated, the following complications may arise:
- Complications with pregnancy and delivery
- Delivering a baby with low-birth-weight
- Giving birth to premature baby
Treating Prenatal Depression:
There are various prenatal depression treatments that can help if a woman feels low during her pregnancy. When a woman feels that she is struggling with prenatal depression, the most important step is to seek help and talk to her obstetrician. Based on the symptoms, the doctor provides the best treatment which is safe for both mother and baby. In general, a women with prenatal depression is often prescribed by antidepressants and treated with counselling or therapies which can reduce the severity of the symptoms. It is highly recommended not to take antidepressants during pregnancy without the doctor’s advice.
Preventing Prenatal Depression:
Making some lifestyle changes can prevent prenatal depression and lets every pregnant women to feel the joy during pregnancy. Some of the lifestyle changes include:
- Practicing yoga and meditation
- Having a balanced diet
- A regular exercise
- Getting enough rest