What is depression during pregnancy?
Depression is a mood disorder that can affect your usual functioning -- your work, sleep, eating and general happiness can all be affected. You might feel extremely sad, moody, stressed, scared or confused, or lose interest in the things that you normally enjoy. Your hormones are going so haywire during pregnancy, and for some women, that could change their brain chemistry and make them more prone to depression.
What are the signs of depression during pregnancy?
They vary from having trouble sleeping to sleeping too much, from restlessness to fatigue. You may have intense feelings of guilt or even have thoughts of suicide. Your eating habits might change a lot too.
Are there any tests for depression during pregnancy?
It can be tough to diagnose depression during pregnancy because a lot of the symptoms sound a lot like those of pregnancy itself. If you think you might be depressed, your doc will probably ask you a lot of questions about your symptoms and might test you for other pregnancy health problems, to rule out other issues.
How common is depression during pregnancy?
It’s common! According to The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, between 14 percent and 23 percent of pregnant women experience depressive symptoms.
How did I get depression during pregnancy?
Women with a history of depression -- or a family history of depression -- are more prone to it during pregnancy. Stressful or traumatic events like abuse or relationship problems could put you at risk for depression. So could pregnancy complications, fertility treatments and past pregnancy loss.
How will my depression affect my baby?
It seems like it’s just a personal, emotional issue, but depression can actually affect your baby a lot. If you don’t seek treatment, you’re more likely to drink, use drugs, smoke or eat poorly during pregnancy -- all of those behaviors could lead to low birth weight, preterm birth and developmental impairment. Studies have shown that babies born to depressed mothers are less active and aware than other babies -- more irritable too. Get treatment -- not just for you, but for your baby.