How to treat depression during pregnancy
Depression during pregnancy is not as uncommon as you might think. Pregnancy is expected to be one of the happiest periods of life for every woman but more often than not it turns out to be the cause of anxiety and depression for the expecting mother. There may be several reasons that contribute to the outcome and it is certainly important to identify the symptoms of depression and treat it as quickly as possible.
Depression during pregnancy can be seen among 15 to 24% of otherwise healthy women and are more common among first time mothers. In this first article we will discuss the expected causes of depression during pregnancy, triggers as well as symptoms so that women are actually able to identify their problem, rather than neglecting for “just a thought”.
How to treat depression during pregnancy
How to treat depression during pregnancy
The Reasons for Depression During Pregnancy
During pregnancy the hormonal levels of the mother’s body change drastically. We need to keep the fact in mind that our emotions and feelings are mostly hormone driven and an imbalance or change in the body’s normal hormonal balance can affect anyone in different ways. In case of depression during pregnancy, it has been observed that changes in hormone levels in the mother’s body interfere with the good natural sensations hormones produced by the human brain, which functions as the main cause of depression during this time.
However, as already mentioned, changes in hormone levels in the body can affect all humans in different ways and therefore it is not every mother who expects to suffer from depression during the early or late stages of pregnancy, but at Same time, If you are suffering from it you are surely not alone in the battle.
Triggers of depression during pregnancy
There are also some triggers that can function as the immediate cause of depression during this time. Often, the absence of these triggers may be enough to control depression, even when there are hormonal changes in the body during pregnancy. It is the responsibility of the expecting mother as well as the family to keep the mother waiting away from these triggers during this special period of life.
For some women, a combined factor of all these triggers work as the reason for depression, while for others, only a single trigger may be enough to induce depression that can continue really long unless treated. The most common triggers of depression during pregnancy include.
Problems in relationships
History of depression
Loss of a previous pregnancy
Stressful situations in family or professional life
History of trauma
Different Infertility Treatments
If you are positive to one or more of these triggers it does not mean that you will necessarily have depression during pregnancy, but it certainly increases the risk. Therefore, in case of these triggers be sure to take extra care of yourself and your feelings during pregnancy.
Symptoms of depression during pregnancy
These are some of the common symptoms of depression during pregnancy. Women who suffer from it are expected to experience one or more symptoms from this list. If any of the symptoms listed below persist for more than 2 weeks, it may be classified as depression and treated in a timely manner. Common symptoms of depression during pregnancy include,
Inability to focus
Feeling sad all the time
Inadequate or excessive sleep
Losing interest in activities that are usually enjoyed
Repeated thoughts of suicide, hopelessness and death
Feeling guilty or useless
Anxiety and fear
If you are experiencing one or more of the above symptoms for more than 2 weeks, you should consult your gynecologist without delay.
Dealing with depression during pregnancy
The good thing is that the help is just a call away. If you are suffering from depression during pregnancy, you really do not need to suffer alone. You can always get help and feel better with the right treatment. According to studies, depression during pregnancy can directly affect the baby and to ensure that both you and your child are healthy, it is really important to get help immediately if you suffer from depression during pregnancy. Here is how depression during pregnancy can be treated,
Medications can be used to treat depression during pregnancy effectively. However, each antidepressant is not suitable for pregnant women and can harm the baby in the worst ways. Therefore, if you are suffering from depression during pregnancy, first consult your doctor and take the medications only as prescribed by her.
Currently, gynecologists often prescribe serotonin reuptake inhibitors to treat depression in pregnant women, as clinical studies have found that these drugs do not harm a child or increase the risk of miscarriage. Therefore, if you suffer from depression during pregnancy, contact your gynecologist immediately for treatment. You can never imagine the right medication in the correct dosage can be how much useful to free you from depression.
Psychotherapy is the other holistic way that can be effective in treating depression during pregnancy without relying on medications. Psychotherapy deals with the psychology of the mother and makes her see the brighter sides of pregnancy, helping her to get better quickly. However, before opting for psychotherapy, do not fail to inform your gynecologist.
Acupuncture is another holistic healing process originated in China in ancient times. It is believed that acupuncture can be effective in curing different physical diseases as well as mental and illness. Acupuncture is often considered effective for treating depression during pregnancy without side effects. However, always make sure you are taking therapy from an experienced therapist who has a detailed idea about your case history and also consult your doctor first.
Apart from the above, some changes in your lifestyle and eating habits can also be very effective in controlling depression. Doctors usually suggest these changes along with medications or other therapies to get the best results. You can also implement these changes in your daily routine and diet to get the benefits as soon as you are able to identify your depression.
In fact, if you implement these changes in your lifestyle and diet from the beginning of pregnancy, you will automatically decrease your risk of depression during this time. However, if it appears that these changes alone are not able to control your depression, you should consult your doctor as soon as possible.
Regular exercise can be one of the best treatments for treating depression during pregnancy. Exercise increases the secretion of serotonin in the “good hormone sensation” in the brain. Serotonin lowers cortisol levels and helps fight depression. During pregnancy you really do not need to do any heavy exercise, going out on a run or walking or doing some free hand exercises for at least 20 minutes a day may be enough to get the results.
However, if you are not someone who is into exercising normally or you are going to pick up the exercise for the first time then you should consult your doctor first.
Get the right diet
Your diet has a direct impact not only on your pregnancy but also on your mood. If you are suffering from mood swings or depression during pregnancy, it is important to first take a look at your diet and establish it correctly. Studies have shown that processed sugar and carbohydrates can make you prone to depression, as they give a certain peak and lower your blood sugar levels. Also stay away from caffeine and alcohol which can have a direct negative impact on your mood once the “time” is gone.
Studies have also shown that a low-protein diet may be a reason for depression. So, opt for a diet that is full of protein, but not unhealthy fats. Lean meats, poultry, eggs, fish can be a good choice of protein in your diet to combat depression. Cereals, spinach, beans, peas, whole grain foods can be helpful in promoting a better mood as they come with vitamins and minerals that can promote the production of serotonin in the brain.
Check Your Eating Habits
Changing blood sugar levels can boost mood swings and therefore when you are suffering from depression during pregnancy, instead of opting for 3 large meals, start taking small meals at frequent intervals and skip all you can Give your blood sugar levels a certain peak. A sugar level in the blood is the key to a level of mood.
Include more omega-3 fatty acids in your daily diet
Omega 3 fatty acids are known for a wide range of positive effects on the body. Recent studies have found that they can also be very effective in treating depression in pregnant women. Therefore, make a point to include omega 3 fatty foods rich foods like fatty fish, seeds and nuts in your daily diet. You can also start taking Omega 3 fatty acid supplements to get the best results, but consult your gynecologist before you start with it.
Yoga and meditation
Yoga and meditation can also be very useful for treating depression during pregnancy. Meditation helps you gain control over your mind and emotions and also relaxes your body and senses, which can be very helpful in fighting depression. So, if you are suffering from depression during pregnancy, yoga and meditation can be very effective in curing the problem.
The effectiveness of this therapy is still discussed, but according to some it can be really useful to treat any type of depression including depression during pregnancy. In this therapy, the patient is exposed to artificial sunlight during different specific times of the day during specific hours.