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Depression In Pregnancy

It's not all it's cracked up to be.

So the pregnancy test has been taken, the good news has been shared and congratulations have been accepted. Everyone is telling you how happy you must be yet, you place a smile on your face and nod away, but inside you are feeling far from excited. You may in fact be feeling very unhappy.

It could all be made worse by the fact that you are feeling guilty about feeling unhappy. Even if you do feel like this you should take reassurance in the fact that you aren’t the only one feeling this way.

How to Tell if You Are Depressed

For many women pregnancy is a happy time filled with excitement, bubbling joy and a lot of spending on baby clothes, furniture and unnecessary items but for one in ten women throughout the world it is not so. These minority of women suffer with long bouts of depression during pregnancy.

Many women try to shrug this off and feel the joy that pregnancy brings but it isn’t always that simple. As women we are taught that pregnancy is a beautiful, magical thing that will make us glow from within with the new life that is growing inside us yet for some of us it just isn’t that simple.

Feeling sad or depressed during pregnancy is often put down to ‘moodiness’ caused by being uncomfortable and bloated during pregnancy though this is not always the case. Depression which is mistaken for simple sadness during pregnancy can be a big problem for your health as well as the health of your baby. It is important to seek help from a medical professional who could prevent anything bad from happening to you or your little bundle of joy.

The symptoms for depression vary between every person as we are all very different no matter how we look on the outside. Many of us however find it hard to speak to anyone about our feelings, including doctors. We can’t get past the thought that someone is going to make fun of us or mock us for not being as ‘strong’ as they are but not speaking out can be one of the worst possible things to do. Suffering in silence can only make the affects worse.

If you suffer from several of these symptoms you may be suffering with depression:

  • A feeling of anxiousness
  • A lack of ability to concentrate
  • A short tempered mood which makes you feel restless
  • A feeling of extreme fatigue and inability to do the things you usually love
  • Have constant negative thoughts that affect the way you live your life
  • Struggle with appetite or can’t stop eating
  • Struggle to sleep or can’t stop sleeping
  • Feel helpless or feel as though you are going to cry over little things that don’t really matter
  • Feel that things that would usually make you happy just aren’t enjoyable anymore

What Has Caused Your Depression?

Scientists used to think that pregnancy hormones prevented women from becoming depressed. This is because many pregnant women express a feeling of overwhelming joy when they are pregnant. In recent years it has been discovered that pregnancy hormones can trigger depression due to the sudden change in hormone levels the pregnant woman experiences. Morning sickness and feeling uncomfortable in our own skin can contribute to the feeling of helplessness.

Women who are pregnant and already caring for young children may be more prone to depression due to the stresses of everyday life on top of their pregnancy. Factors like relationship problems and money difficulties can also contribute to a woman becoming depressed during pregnancy.

Problems During Pregnancy

Things like constant morning sickness and complications in pregnancy can lead to depression. An unplanned pregnancy can also lead women to feel unhappy and depressed.

Women who have had problems with previous pregnancies can often feel depressed due to worrying about their current pregnancy and whether they are going to suffer the same way they did before.

Things like miscarriages and still births in previous pregnancies often also make the mother worry. When this occurs it is important to try and think positively. Remember that no pregnancy is the same and that there is a very real chance that things will be fine.

Your Personal History

If you have suffered with depression or another form of mental illness in the past you are more likely to suffer with depression during pregnancy. It is also possible that you will suffer with depression for the year after your baby is born.

How to Deal With Depression

Don’t suffer alone. It doesn’t always matter who you talk to as long as you talk to someone. Just being able to vent your feelings can take a large weight off your shoulders. Seek medical help if you believe you are a danger to yourself, your baby or anyone else around you and remember that there are always people out there who care for your well-being.  

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