Pregnant And Feeling The Blues? Here’s How You Can Fight It

In spite of the strong belief that pregnant women should always be happy, research has found that more than 33% of women need to cope with anxiety and depression during pregnancy. Sadly, however,, only 20% of them seek proper treatment or  satisfied with inadequate treatments, leading to unwanted complications.

Symptoms To Watch Out For

  • Being depressed continuously for at least two weeks
  • Not being happy doing things that you loved
  • Decreased interest in the world around you
  • Overwhelming sense of guilt
  • Feeling worthless
  • Low energy
  • Poor concentration
  • Change in appetite or loss of it
  • Thoughts of suicide
  • Sleeping too much or none at all
  • Excessive tension that is difficult to control
  • Irritability
  • Muscle aches
  • Disrupted sleep patterns
  • Continuous feeling of restlessness

Most people confuse depression with “feeling blue”. While it’s completely normal to feel the latter, there is a cause of concern when you have these feelings for weeks or months. The worst part, depression can overpower even your most basic sensibilities. This means that doing even the most mundane tasks like eating and sleeping may sound like a chore.

What makes depression during pregnancy so complicated is the fact that pregnant women are supposed to be in

a “happy” period. This leads to women shunning the symptoms as hormonal changes. However, what needs to be understood is the fact that depression is an illness, and is not something by choice.

What Should You Do?

To begin with, talk to your healthcare provider in prenatal visits to rule out the stage of depression. Talk about your mental health as your doctor would be able to assign you psychotherapists if needed. Remember, they are not there to judge and all you need to do to recover is start talking.

Non-Medical Approaches To Depression

While clinical depression needs the intervention of doctors, here are some non-medical approaches that you can undertake if you suffer from mild to moderate depression:

  • Psychotherapy, which includes cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), in which a trained professional would teach you how to control and manage thoughts and emotions
  • Including foods that are high on omega-3 essential fatty acids
  • Light therapy, which uses exposure to sunlight at specific times of the day to relieve depression symptoms
  • Acupuncture, an alternative medicine form that uses needles and stress points in your body to influence positive mood

Effects On
The Baby

Not a lot of research is available that can prove how depression affects babies in the womb. However, it has been found that if depression is left untreated, chances of having preterm baby increases. There is also research that shows that babies born to depressed mothers are likely to be more colicky and irritable.

If you are advised antidepressants, the risks will depend on the dosage, how long you have been taking it and even the type of medication. Therefore, it’s best to talk to your doctor about the varying possibilities and harmful side-effects that the medicine might have.

What Can You Do For A Healthy Pregnancy?

If you suffer from clinical depression and are pregnant, things can get a little harder than you expect. The best way out is to talk to your doctors and your existing support system to figure out therapies (both medicinal and non-medical). Remember, that you are not alone and that everyone is thinking about you and your baby’s welfare.

Resist urges of tackling too many chores before your baby comes. You might think that keeping your brain

busy would help you cope better, but chances are that those thoughts are being piled up. Your episode may turn out to be more difficult if you have piled up issues that could have been easily resolved.

Additionally, self-care should top your list before anything. The motherly instincts kick in once you are pregnant, but that doesn’t mean that you don’t take time off. Remember once the baby is on board, it is going to be more difficult. Time to head out and do the things that you would normally do to unwind. Read a book (and, we don’t mean the pregnancy related ones), eat breakfast in bed, go for a pedicure, anything that relaxes you.

What you should remember is that do not try to handle the challenges of depression and pregnancy alone. Involve your friends, support system and think about an individualized program which can include talk therapy, medication or even a combination of both. Stay healthy and stay positive even if we know it might prove to be difficult.