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.
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.
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.