Common Issues

Signs of Depression During Pregnancy: Causes and Treatment

Depression During Pregnancy
Written by Stephanie McClane

What is Depression?

Depression is a medical condition that causes nervousness and upsets well-being of a person. Extreme mood swings tend towards negative feelings and result in non-participation of daily activities.

Depression and Pregnancy

According to medical survey, nearly thirteen percent of women go through a feeling of downheartedness during pregnancy. At this time abundant changes in hormones has a direct effect on chemicals situated in brain and these lead to depression. Some important signs of depression during pregnancy are as follows:-

  • When eating habits of a woman changes
  • If guilt feeling persists
  • Anxiousness
  • A feeling of hopelessness
  • Extreme changes in sleeping pattern like sleeping for very limited time or for a longer than normal period
  • Lack of concentration
  • Crying at the drop of a hat
  • Extreme weight loss
  • Extreme weight gain
  • Lack of appetite or even overeating
  • Usage of alcohol, drugs or tobacco

Causes of Depression While Pregnant

Causes of depression during pregnancy are different for every female and they may be because of following reasons-

  • Changes in hormones can create havoc amongst emotions of a woman
  • If patient has a history of depression then symptoms may carry forward during pregnancy
  • When a pregnant woman is having history of depression in her family, risk during pregnancy increases
  • If a patient is suffering from thyroid then thyroid hormones can lead to depression
  • Financial worries tend to create depression amongst many females as a new addition brings extra expenses
  • Physical discomfort because of pain and morning sickness starts taking a toll on well-being of a female. Coping with them regularly results in feelings of depression
  • New arrival tends to change equations and this feeling may result in anxiousness and later depression
  • If a woman has earlier faced a difficult birth or pregnancy then anxiety is common and it can cause depression
  • Earlier miscarriage can also create traumatic feelings

Treatment of Depression During Pregnancy

Treatment of depression during pregnancy is possible through medical assistance and lifestyle changes. Until and unless depression reaches a certain point that will prove harmful for baby and mother doctor do not advice oral consumption of medicines. It is better to go for following lifestyle changes:-

  • Rest as much as possible – In order to provide relief to body from restlessness it is necessary to take proper care of sleep through enough rest
  • Spending outdoor time – Nature has calming effect on a person. Taking walks and having picnics tend to reduce tension and despair as mood is freshened
  • Putting excessive workload on hold – If some work gives a feeling of too much work then it is sensible to avoid it so that anxiousness remains at bay
  • Eating healthy – Pregnancy requires eating balanced and healthy diet. Regular and evenly stretched meals keep a check on excessive hormonal changes thus keeping depression away.
  • Avoiding excessive sugar contents, alcohol, caffeine can help in dealing with depression
  • Exercise – Physical activities at regular intervals stabilizes mood and treats anxiousness with positivity
  • Spending quality time – Visiting family members and friends rejuvenates the mind and mood
  • Avoid dramatic changes – Dodging unnecessary stress is sensible at this time
  • Discussion of feelings – Speaking with the intention of clearing up issues will take away dejected feelings
  • Joining groups – Making time for linking with support groups is a positive endeavor that will help in positive spirits

About the author

Stephanie McClane

Hi, I’m Stephanie. I graduated college with a business degree and a minor in biology. I met my husband at a business convention and was happily marriage and pregnant within the first two years after saying the words “ I do”.

Jennifer is the eldest of the three. Being pregnant with her, my first, I researched everything pregnancy related and read nearly every book. Giving birth to Anthony and Matty seemed more natural and less stressful the third time around.

I’m happy to share what knowledge I have gathered and learn new things from other mothers. From morning sickness to Anencephaly, or potty training to thumb sucking, I have books and resource guides to share.