What is depression in pregnancy?
In the common opinion, pregnancy is a time of joyful anticipation. Unfortunately, not for all women, for many of them it is an extremely difficult period, filled with anxiety, fear and fear for the future. Sometimes emotions are so hard and so depressing that they resemble depression.
Depression in pregnancy is a disease that requires intervention because it is a dangerous condition for both mother and child. Otherwise it is called antenatal depression. It belongs to the group of mood disorders, such as clinical depression. It is a disease that leads to changes in so-called 'brain chemistry'.
How often does depression occur in pregnancy?
Depression in pregnancy, according to the American Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG), can affect from 14-23% of all pregnant women to a varying extent, from light (some symptoms) to severe (requiring immediate medical intervention).
What are the signs of depression in pregnancy?
Depression in pregnancy may be indicated by the following symptoms, which lasted for more than 2 weeks:
- enduring sadness
- sleep problems - insomnia or need for continuous sleep,
- problems with concentration,
- loss of joy of action,
- apathy, feeling powerless and meaningless,
- repeated thoughts of death, suicide,
- feeling guilty,
- less hunger or excessive appetite,
- withdrawal from social life,
- refusing to talk or contact other people.
Causes of depression in pregnancy and risk factors
Depression in pregnancy can have various causes. Factors that increase the risk of its appearance are:
- stories of depression occurring in other family members,
- personal history of depression
- previous pregnancy loss
- infertility treatment,
- feeling overwhelmed by other problems,
- pregnancy complications
- stressful events in life,
- history of violence,
- early age of pregnancy,
- sense of loneliness, lack of support in the surroundings.
Why is it important to treat depression?
Depression in pregnancy should not be ignored. A sick soul negatively affects the functioning of the body. Malaise often determines that a woman eats less well, sometimes reaches for cigarettes or alcohol. Difficulties with full recovery, sleeping problems create problems during the night's rest. The effects can be far-reaching: premature delivery, low birth weight, etc.
A woman suffering from depression does not experience the changed state as she deserves, which is why it is also necessary for her to seek support and start treatment. It does not have to rely on taking medications (those that are pregnant can be dangerous, remember that they penetrate the placenta to the fetus), often meetings with a psychologist, psychotherapy, support group or light therapy give excellent results. There are many ways to help.