Good Healthcare Requires Treatment of Your Mind, Body, and Soul

Good Healthcare Requires Treatment of Your Mind, Body, and Soul

Depression And Pregnancy: Tips For Coping With This Common Condition While You're Expecting

by Hugh Larson

According to Mental Health America, around 12 million women throughout the United States deal with clinical depression each year. If you've dealt with depression in the past, you might be concerned about the impact that pregnancy will have on your symptoms. Letting your obstetrician know right away that you have suffered with depression in the past is the first step. Additionally, here are a few more tips about how to deal with depression while you are expecting:

What Causes Depression Symptoms to Occur During Pregnancy?

The typical symptoms associated with depression during pregnancy, including a feeling of hopelessness, trouble sleeping, anxiety and a loss of interest in previously pleasurable activities, occur because of a combination for reasons. In addition to a change of brain chemistry, pregnant women are also coping with a hormonal imbalance that can negatively impact their mood.

Additionally, many pregnant women are suffering with issues during this period that can make their depression even worse. For many women, pregnancy is a confusing time, even if the pregnancy was planned or a complete surprise. Money troubles, marital strife and the everyday stresses of life can also make pregnancy-related depression even worse.

Is Untreated Depression During Pregnancy Dangerous?

Unfortunately, many women falsely believe that pregnancy should be a completely joyous experience and feel ashamed for seeking treatment for depression. A woman might also believe that she can simply manage her symptoms on her own, which can be very dangerous for both her, and her unborn baby.

Many women with pregnancy-related depression don't care for themselves properly, or seek unhealthy treatments for their symptoms. For example, some pregnant women turn to smoking, alcohol and drugs to help them cope with their feelings of depression and anxiety, which is very dangerous for both mother and baby.

Additionally, a woman who isn't seeking treatment for depression during pregnancy is often less likely to follow a healthy diet and will make poor eating choices. Finally, the combination of clinical depression, anxiety, pregnancy-related hormones and stress can cause some women to consider suicide.

If you are pregnant and are have suicidal thoughts, don't hesitate to contact your obstetrician right away.

Options to Treat Depression During Pregnancy

Dealing with depression during pregnancy is not shameful, and the best way to seek help is to first talk with your doctor. Depending on the severity of your symptoms, your doctor will have several treatment options available. For example, talk therapy or joining a support group are often recommended as the first steps for women dealing with depression. Many times, simply talking about the difficulties of pregnancy-related depression is the right medicine for a struggling mom to be.

Additionally, your doctor might recommend a few additional natural options to treat your depression. From getting plenty of exercise and sleep to increasing the amount of omega-3 fatty acids in your diet, there are several healthy, natural ways to boost your mood.

In some instances, the use of talk therapy and natural treatments aren't enough to help a woman suffering with severe pregnancy-related depression. If this is the case, the next step is the use of a prescription anti-depressant. According to the Mayo Clinic, there are prescription antidepressants available that pose a minimal risk to both mom and the baby. However, before you consider taking any antidepressant, such as a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor or a tricyclic antidepressant, it is vital to discuss the potential benefits and drawbacks of these medications at length with your doctor.

Pregnancy-related depression is a serious issue that should never be taken lightly. If you have dealt with depression prior to your pregnancy, or if you are pregnant and believe you have clinical depression, don't hesitate to contact your obstetrician. For more information, contact a business such as All Women's Clinic.


About Me

Good Healthcare Requires Treatment of Your Mind, Body, and Soul

I have worked in a supportive role in the medical industry for over 20 years, and I have been amazed at the advances in medicine that have been made. While it is always great to hear about a new medication that helps cure a disease or a new surgical procedure that can help someone live a normal life again after an injury, I have been especially amazed at the research that has shown just how much our physical and mental health are connected. Since I keep on top of all of the amazing medical studies being performed and I know others are too busy to hunt them down themselves, I decided to start a blog to share my favorite health tips for keeping both your mind and body healthy.