Depression and pregnancy are two conditions that can occur simultaneously. While depression is common in the general population, it can be especially difficult to cope with during pregnancy. It’s important for pregnant women who experience symptoms of depression to seek help from their healthcare provider so they can receive appropriate treatment.
Depression during pregnancy is a serious issue that affects up to 20% of pregnant women. Symptoms may include feeling sad, hopeless or overwhelmed; having decreased energy levels; difficulty sleeping; loss of appetite; and thoughts of harming oneself or the baby. Women with more severe forms of depression may even have suicidal thoughts or attempts at self-harm.
While it’s not always possible to prevent depression during pregnancy, there are steps you can take to reduce your risk. Eating a healthy diet and getting regular exercise can help improve your mood and energy levels. Additionally, make sure to get adequate rest and practice stress-reduction techniques like yoga or meditation. It’s also important for pregnant women who experience depression symptoms to seek professional help from their healthcare provider.
Treatment may include counseling, medication, lifestyle modifications or all three. It’s important to note that some medications used in the treatment of depression are not safe during pregnancy, so it’s essential that you discuss any potential risks with your doctor before starting any kind of treatment plan. There is also evidence that suggests certain types of psychotherapy can be beneficial for pregnant women experiencing depression symptoms as well as those at high risk for developing postpartum depression (PPD).
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) has been found to reduce depressive symptoms in both pregnant women and new mothers who have PPD after delivery. Furthermore, research indicates that interpersonal therapy (IPT) is an effective option for treating mild cases of prenatal depression without the use of antidepressants or other medications.
In addition to seeking professional care if needed, there are several self-care strategies pregnant women can use when feeling overwhelmed by negative emotions:
- Connecting with loved ones – Having someone close by whom you trust can provide emotional support during difficult times;
- Practicing mindfulness – Paying attention to the present moment without judgement helps bring awareness back into balance;
- Being active – Exercise releases endorphins which naturally elevate mood;
- Getting creative – Creative activities such as writing poetry or painting have been found helpful in managing negative feelings;
- Taking breaks – Taking time out from daily responsibilities allows us space we need away from our worries;
- Seeking additional resources – Talking with a therapist experienced in treating perinatal mental health issues can be invaluable too!
Depression during pregnancy is a serious issue but one that doesn’t have go untreated successfully if proper steps are taken early on by both expecting mothers themselves and their medical providers alike!Spread the word