A pregnant woman is expected to be jolly and in “cloud 9” while waiting for her baby to arrive. She should be happy always since a little angel is inside her blessed body and will be ready to come out in 9 months. It is also anticipated that after giving birth, the hormones are in disarray and a bit of Post-Partum Depression can be suffered by the mother. But with love and some help, it can be managed easily.
What others don’t know is that depression can commence at any time and not just postpartum. This means that a pregnant woman can get depressed anytime from the first trimester up to her 9th month. This condition is referred to as Prenatal Depression or Antenatal Depression.
A study revealed that up to 20% of pregnant mothers experience this type of clinical depression and most of them fail to get treatment. At least 7% of the women who are with child has this mental health issue. In simple math, for every 100 pregnant women, at least 7 have this disorder and most of them are unconscious about it. This depression can go on for months and even years after the baby has been born, and the only way to make it stop is through treatment and therapy. Medication is rarely prescribed, but if absolutely needed during extreme cases, it is being advised.
Signs and Symptoms of Prenatal Depression
The reason why Prenatal Depression is often left untreated is because women feel that the change in their moods and emotions are due to their pregnancy hormones. There is truth to that, but if this change in behavior becomes severe or the pregnant mother fails to function normally, then, it can be ruled as a mental health problem.
Some signs are as follows:
- Failure to focus or concentrate
- Can’t remember things
- Feelings of numbness
- Always agitated
- Can’t sleep well or sleeps for extended hours
- Overly fatigued
- Over eating or not eating at all
- No interest in sex
- Dreadful of giving birth in an extreme way
- Feeling guilty, helpless and hopeless all the time
- Intense sadness
- A disconnect reaction with the baby
- Not happy about giving birth
- Wanting to die or often thinking about dying and death
Factors that Trigger Prenatal Depression
A pregnant woman can get clinically depressed for a variety of reasons. Some of the most common factors are:
- Failed, bad or abusive personal relationships
- Family problems
- History of depression in the family
- Previous miscarriages
- Pregnancy complications
- Rape, abuse or other traumatic events
Treatments for Prenatal Depression
It is not usually recommended for pregnant women to drink antidepressants because there is a baby inside of them and the meds may have an effect on the unborn child. But there are instances when medication is necessary for a pregnant mother and that’s due to the severity of their depression. This prescription is carefully provided for the mother – TCA’s and SSRI’s are the typical medication. When used as prescribed, the pregnant mother’s mood will be lifted in as short as two weeks. Energy will also be elevated and bad feelings are suppressed, as well.
Therapy is the go-to treatment for this type of clinical depression. It is a very effective way of letting out their ill feelings so that they can sort it out and work on it. BetterHelp is a great online counseling services site for those with Prenatal Depression, if you’re interested. They have helped thousands of people who are challenged with mental health issues including Prenatal Depression.