Depression During Pregnancy: Signs, Symptoms & Treatment


Pregnancy, while being the happiest time in the life of many women, can be battle full of confusion, fear, and even depression to others. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) reveals that 14 to 23 percent of women suffer from depression during their pregnancy.

Depression, which is a mood disorder, happens to 1 in 4 women at some point in their life. Thus, it’s normal if depression hits one during her pregnancy. To our surprise, antepartum is not diagnosed properly during pregnancy since people mistake it with hormonal imbalance.

Depression in pregnancy, indeed, need timely treatment. If left neglected, it can leave harmful effects on both the mother and the unborn baby.

What exactly is depression during pregnancy?

The medical term for this condition is antepartum depression. It is a mood disorder related to the changes of chemicals in the brain. These changes result from hormone changes brought about by pregnancy.

Signs of antepartum depression

If experience these following symptoms for more than two weeks, the mom-to-be may have antepartum depression.

  • Tenacious sadness
  • Decrease in concentration
  • Sleep problems, too little or too much sleep
  • Drop in interest in favorite activities
  • Thoughts of death, suicide, or hopelessness
  • Anxiety
  • Feeling of guilt or worthlessness
  • Changes in eating habits

Possible causes of antepartum depression

  • Problems in relationships
  • Family or personal history of depression
  • History of abuse or trauma
  • Infertility treatments
  • Previous miscarriage
  • Life stress
  • Problems with the current pregnancy

Treatments for antepartum depression

There are many treatments that can help a pregnant woman with her condition. They include:

  • Support groups
  • Private psychotherapy
  • Medication
  • Light therapy

Many people would feel concerned about treatment using medications in their pregnancy. However, there are doctors who will cover all the possible benefits and risks and give you best advice.

If you are on medication for other mental conditions before getting pregnant, do not stop the medicine without the doctor’s awareness. A sudden stop in medication could put you and the baby at risk. The main problem is your condition getting worse, which leads to many complications for the pregnancy, including low weight gain and poor bonding with the newborn.

What are the possible side-effects of antidepressants?

Those bad impacts include:

  • Premature birth
  • Pulmonary hypertension the baby

Antidepressants taken in the third trimester may lead to withdrawal at birth for the baby. This withdrawal can be short-lived, trouble breathing, trouble feeding jitteriness and irritability or low blood sugar.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

msBahasa Malaysia

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