It's something that many people don't want to talk about, especially during pregnancy. It is still some what of a touchy subject that not many people want to get into, especially when you are with child. Many automatically assume that once you become pregnant it's a nonstop time for bliss. The reality is, that isn't true. Not for everyone.
What is Depression?
Depression affects you mentally. People can experience a wide range of strong negative emotions in which you feel sadness, loss of interest in the things that you once loved, and even some feelings of hopelessness. These emotions will often interfere with your every day life and these feelings can last for a long period of time.
A lot of attention has been put on postpartum depression, which is indeed very important, however there have been more occurrences of antepartum depression among pregnant women than before. Another issue is the fact that pregnant women who are experiencing depression are less likely to seek help because as I said before, pregnancy is almost always looked at as a time of joy. Many women do not want to look "bad", so they suffer in silence. This was me. I had about of both, antepartum depression and postpartum depression. I struggled with depression during pregnancy. I wasn't really sure what was wrong with me, but I knew that something wasn't right.
Could you be at risk?
Women who struggle with depression during pregnancy could have had depression before even becoming pregnant. However, some women have never had any issues with depression but once they became pregnant they did. Many believe that the hormonal changes, sleeping and eating habits, and body changes can cause these depressive episodes. I can see that because the mind and body is going through a lot of changes at this time. Other causes can be things like stress, lack of support, if your pregnancy wasn't planned, and things in that category. I've talked about this before. What we experience during pregnancy has an impact on our unborn babies. If you are depressed and it goes left untreated there is a risk of complications during your pregnancy and delivery.
Help is out there. Counseling and therapy can help. If you want either individual or group counseling, those are options. There are also things like support groups and even prenatal classes. Lifestyle changes can be a big help also. Making sure your diet is balanced, getting exercise, and also making sure that you get plenty of rest can help those that find themselves in a battle with depression. There is also the option for medication, which you and your therapist will need to decide if this is the best option for you.
Depression doesn't look like a particular person or thing. Anyone can struggle with it. Don't be afraid to reach out and ask for help. Never ever suffer in silence. You and your baby deserve the best start possible!
Pregnancy Health Coach