You are carrying life and waiting for your little one to be born. It is a magical moment! Being pregnant involves very strong emotions: mostly positive but unfortunately can also be negative: sadness, anxiety, apprehension...
Depression during pregnancy, called prenatal depression, is a mood disorder that can affect the thoughts, feelings and behavior of pregnant women.
If you're reading this, you're probably asking the question for yourself (or a loved one): KNOW YOU'RE NOT ALONE WITH THIS. About 10% of pregnant women experience depression during pregnancy. You should not feel guilty for not being 100% fulfilled during your pregnancy, you have nothing to do with it :)
Good news, it can be treated! But it's important to see it and talk about it!
Depression during pregnancy? The symptoms
The pregnant woman may be prone to greater psychological fragility. It is a trying time, the hormones are crazy and obviously that mood changes, fatigue and appetite or sleep disorders are to be expected. However, if it lasts and they are severe, it may be a sign of depression.
The symptoms to note and observe:
- Lack of interest in pregnancy
- Loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities
- Persistent appetite disturbances, whether loss of appetite or conversely a sharp increase
- Difficulty or even inability to concentrate and make decisions
- Insomnia, fatigue...
- Mood swings, high irritability
- Very dark thoughts...
Some symptoms are simply the same as those of a classic pregnancy (fatigue, mood swings, appetite and sleep disorders..). Questioning and being anxious about the changes that will happen in your life is normal.
If they are disabling, the anxiety is omnipresent and your condition becomes difficult to bear, you should talk to your midwife or doctor.
Prenatal Depression: Impact on Baby and Mother
Depression during your pregnancy can lead to difficulties in caring for yourself. For example, not feeding yourself properly, not going to doctor's appointments, not sleeping... It can even go as far as drinking or smoking to make your condition more bearable. (We're not throwing stones, but to avoid getting to this point, it's best to talk about it first!)
Many studies show that stress and anxiety can cause:
- Preterm delivery
Other studies also highlight the link between prenatal depression and postpartum depression. 30 to 60% of mothers had symptoms during pregnancy.
And postpartum depression strongly influences the creation of the attachment bond with possible difficulties in caring for your child.
It is therefore important to listen to yourself and talk about it to be taken care of quickly.
What treatments for depression during pregnancy?
If you have become aware that you are suffering from it, you must:
- Talk to your doctor / midwife but also to your family members to have social support
- Take care of yourself! So yes, it's obvious but it's still important to give yourself time (and really time), eat healthy, sleep well, maintain your social circle and do activities you enjoy
- Ask for help from those around you or elsewhere. The spouse, relatives but also testimonies of women who have experienced it, group therapy ...
- The medication. it is to see with your doctor, but if it is a severe depression, it is sometimes better to take medication and be fulfilled and serene in your pregnancy rather than undergo it!"
We hope that this article will shed some light on the subject. Most importantly, as expectant moms, listen to yourself, don't feel guilty and accept help. You are not alone!
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