Depression is a type of illness that mostly affects the way people think, act and feel. Normally 6% of women will experience depression at some or the other point in their lives. This number often increases to about 10% in some women to say 1 in 10 who are pregnant.
Usually, Women are more at risk of suffering from depression while they are pregnant, and commonly during the weeks and months immediately after having a baby. Also During pregnancy, hormonal changes can affect brain chemicals and cause depression and anxiety. At times, pregnant women do not even realize that they are depressed while they may think they have symptoms of pregnancy or the “baby blues,” which women experience right after birth.
It is also equally important to know that as many as 10% of the fathers also experience postpartum depression right after the birth of a child.
The good news for this is that depression can be treated.
Depression, being a commonly seen psychological health problem across the whole world, prevents the functionality, happiness, creativity, and satisfaction of few individuals, which may reduce their quality of life, and often leads to losses in their workforce. Pregnancy, being one of the most important processes in women, is a natural event as well as a period during which many of the biological and psychosocial changes are experienced.
Also the risk of the many factors that may cause depression are very high because of the stress and anxiety during pregnancy. And the neuroendocrinological and the psychosocial changes that pregnancy often causes are so many when compared to other periods of life. The high levels of hormones like norepinephrine and cortisol decrease the blood flow into the uterus and thus causes many severe obstetric and neonatal problems for the pregnant woman and the fetus as well.
All these Problems may be listed as follows
increased uterine artery resistance
low Apgar score
newborns with low birth weight
Baby with high levels of cortisol
neonatal growth retardation
babies that require neonatal intensive care
Some International studies also emphasize that many cases of this depression are among women who are aged between 18 and 44 years and also that depression comprises fecundity periods such as pregnancy, birth, puerperal. This incidence of suffering from depression and some of its symptoms range between 8% and 38% in the entire world. Whereas in Turkey this incidence varies between 12% and 36%
Coming Among the factors that increase the risk of depression during pregnancy are:
having any history of depression
younger ages of pregnant women
low socioeconomic status
being exposed to any kind of violence before and during pregnancy
Any kind of disharmony between couples
having experienced a miscarriage in the past
Any undesired pregnancy
Some ambivalent thoughts about pregnancy
having many children
a lack or absence of social support
What are the major signs of depression?
Depression sometimes can come on slowly. The symptoms of this illness are different for everyone. Sometimes they can be mild, moderate or severe. List of the more common signs are:
Any kind of changes in appetite like eating too much or sometimes having little interest in food,
Any changes in sleeping habits, such as having trouble sleeping or sleeping too much,
It might also be a lack of energy,
Always feeling sad, hopeless or also worthless,
It could also be crying for no reason
There will be a loss of interest or pleasure in activities you normally enjoy.
New mothers with depression may have some trouble caring for their baby. They might not want to spend luxury time with their baby, which often can lead to a baby who cries a lot.
How does depression affect pregnant women or new mothers?
If you suffer from depression while you’re pregnant, you may also have trouble caring for yourself.
Usually, depression during pregnancy can lead to:
delivering before the due date also called preterm,
giving birth to a small baby or a low birth weight.
Tips to Treat depression naturally during pregnancy:
Boost your omega-3 intake:
Omega 3 is known to help fight depression, and also they can help during pregnancy, too. Pregnant women who take 1 g of omega-3 capsules for six weeks continuously can see a significantly larger reduction in their depression scores compared to a control group.
Usually Getting plenty of exercises is a key to depression prevention in general, and also its initial evidence seems to support the same theory of depression during pregnancy.
Some Researchers also suggest that the ideal physical activity routine for pregnant women is one that is low to moderate in intensity, and that is gentle and is adapted to each woman with the help of any of her healthcare providers.
Using Bright light therapy
Bright light therapy normally uses light exposure to treat depression. This is extremely and completely safe, and few studies also show that it can be useful in treating antenatal depression. Bright light therapy is also very much effective for postpartum depression treatment.