Spotting The Signs Of Depression During Pregnancy

Pregnancy is supposed to make you happier and ‘glowing.' However, depression during pregnancy, also known as antenatal depression or prenatal depression, is also fairly common. Out of 100 women, at least 12 experience depression during pregnancy. And while 50% of the women have a history of depression before they're pregnant, 50% are experiencing signs of depression for the first time while they are pregnant.

Sadly enough, less than 50% of the women with major depression during their pregnancy are diagnosed. And out of this 50%, only half of the population gets treated. While the signs of depression during pregnancy are  the same as those of typical depression, the disorder is often confused with other changes that occur during pregnancy.

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Some of the signs of depression during pregnancy include anxiousness, which can be understandable but when it begins to be all-consuming, women should check with their doctor. Also, mood swings, resulting from tiredness as well as the production of estrogen and progesterone, are common. Perpetual irritation, however, is not normal. Mood swings can be expected during the first and third trimester, not throughout the pregnancy. Mood disorders, which are biological illnesses that involve changes in brain chemistry, should not be dismissed as simply 'being in a bad mood.'

Also, if women feel worthless, inadequate or guilty in spite of leading a healthy life, or have trouble concentrating and find negativity in everything around them, they should consult with their doctor. Depression during pregnancy not only mars your interest in life, but it also disrupts your appetite.

For many women, signs of depression disappear after their child is born, but for others, it can result in a severe case of postpartum depression. Therefore, it is better to seek help and visit a doctor before the feeling takes over. Tips to help women deal with antenatal depression include:

Taking time for yourselfSpeaking to others about your feelingsDoing guided exercisesPreparing a well-being plan for yourselfSeeking help whenever you feel it is necessary

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Professor Louise Howard, Consultant Perinatal Psychiatrist and Professor of Women's Mental Health at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology, and Neuroscience, King's College London says, "There is the expectation that a woman's experience of pregnancy should always be joyous, but the truth is that pregnant women often put emotional and mental pressure on themselves to feel happy all the time. It is important for pregnant women not to feel embarrassed or guilty about experiencing the emotions they didn't expect during pregnancy. They deserve compassionate support and should speak to a midwife, health visitor or GP for professional advice."

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