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Pregnancy is that wonderful and beautiful phase that most women rejoice about. However, many may find it hard to believe that pregnancy can bring with it a condition known as ‘antenatal depression’. This is a common condition in expecting mothers and should not be ignored.
Depression during pregnancy like regular depression is a clinical condition and requires further investigation and management. Pregnancy is related to the female hormones and therefore, mood swings are common (as during PMS and menopause). However, depressed pregnant women would typically have the following associated symptoms too.
Altered eating habits
Altered sleeping patterns (too much or too less)
Loss of attention/ability to focus
Losing interest in activities which usually interest the person
Feeling very anxious
Constant feeling of sadness
Uncertainty about the future
Feeling of worthlessness
It has been noted about 25% of women can get depressed during pregnancy for varying periods of time. Some potential reasons for this are as below.
Strained relationships: One of the most important factors for a healthy pregnancy is a happy relationship, not just with the partner, but with immediate and close family members with whom there is a high level of regular interaction.
Work stress: For working women, a stressful office environment could take a toll on their moods.
Previous miscarriages: This can cause anxiety and depression about possible repeat incident.
Potential complications: If the periodic examinations showed up possibility for complications in pregnancy, the chance of depression in the mother increase.
How it affects pregnancy?
A depressed mother would not be able to care for herself and therefore, the baby may not get adequate nutrition for its development. Additionally, the potential for nicotine and alcohol abuse increases, which also negatively impacts the baby’s growth. There could be low birth weight, premature birth and developmental delays after birth.
How it can be managed?
While the hormonal changes during pregnancy causes mood swings, diagnosing if it is depression is important. A consultation with a psychiatrist may be required for some women.
Some of the options available for treatment include support groups, individual counseling, and medications.
It is important to understand that this is a common condition and you are not the only one going through this. Talking to other women who feel depressed can help in mood uplifting of all involved.
If you are too shy about it, individual counseling could be the next best thing.
Stress management including light exercise, music, meditation, rest, diet, and support from close friends and family are highly recommended.
- Since most antidepressants would reach the baby, it is advisable to avoid these less you need them as a last resort. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a psychologist.
My daughter is not having regular motion. After every 2 to 3 days she is pooping. Is it normal at this age? She is under complete breastfeeding. She looks completely normal and happy. What should I do? Please suggest.
Eating disorders leads to hormonal imbalance right? Then is it that hormonal imbalance also causes tenderness of breast/nipple? Plsss help. I need advice pls!
Hello, my wife got operated for breast engorged before six months, now she have one breast smaller than other, advise that what should she do to maintain the symmetry. Thank you.
I took abortion pill, today it is 26 days, I have heavy bleeding sometimes, yesterday also, so I asked then they told that some particles remain inside, do pelvic ultrasound, is there any others procedure to clear those particles as without going to hospital, actually I feel shy please help.
Hello Dr, mg problem is I do not get my periods on time, also only 2 days or sometimes one day also, my HB is less, n blood group is AB-, n weight 65 kg, m facing this problems since more than 9 yrs, n I don't eat sweet at all, if I dates then lil bit of flow is good. I consulted many Dr. but did not get any positive result. Pls help me.
Dear doctor. I am girl. I am poor. So I spend my life doing sex worker. How many times can I do anal sex on vagina. I use condom always. Can vagina problem me later. I did sex 20 times. So I am worried. Please Help me.
I am suffering from gout last 15 years I take medicine Zyloric 300 ,one bad daily Please tell how to control uric acid.
I have undergone the laparoscopy two days before doc said uterus mouth is so tight dat may also be the cause of infertility and they loosed it during laparoscopy and saying there s a chance .my doubt is once if uterus mouth is loosed it will remain the same hereafter and can easily conceive.
Pregnancy is one of the most exciting and anxious phase in a woman’s life. There is definitely an information overload from all sources i.e. family, friends, medical team, books, Internet, etc., that is dumped on the mother-to-be. The idea is to prepare her for the delivery. What needs to be borne in mind though is that each delivery is unique and there are no two women who have had the exact same experience.
However, it is good for the mother to know what to expect so that she is mentally prepared and not totally caught unawares when the actual scenes unfold. The following are the sequence of events that she should be aware of and watch out for:
- With the due date nearing, she should keep a watch for the water breaking. This is passing of fluid surrounding the baby and is usually colorless and odorless. However, if it is green or brown, it is an indication that something might be wrong. Immediate medical help should be sought in that case.
- Along with water breaking, contractions is the next thing to watch out for. This is due to the tightening and releasing of the uterus, indicating that the baby has begun to descend down towards the cervix. If these last for up to a minute, occur every five minutes, and persist for up to an hour, it is a clear indication that it is delivery time and you must head to the hospital.
- Two sensations very prominent during delivery are pain and pressure. The pressure is from the baby passing down the birth canal. As the cervix and the vaginal canal expand to allow passage of the baby, there would be a great deal of pain and pressure. It is not just the mother, even the baby exerts significant pressure to come out of the womb during labor.
- The process of the baby getting out of the womb is what is medically termed as labor and has three distinct stages to it:
- The first stage has two parts to it i.e. an initial, gradual phase that may last for a few hours and a later, quicker phase. The rate of progress of delivery is steady.
- The second stage usually lasts for about two hours, during which the cervix is minimally dilated and pushing begins. This stage lasts until the baby is out of the womb.
- The third and the last stage is where the placenta is extracted and the umbilical cord is cut.
Some common problems you may expect include injury or tearing of the vagina or cervix, need for episiotomy, vomiting, passing of motion, anesthetic complications, etc. However, what would remain etched in the mother’s memory would be the first sight of the baby.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!