Dealing with depression during pregnancy

It is very common and natural to suffer from depression during pregnancy. Mood swings and emotional changes are part and parcel of pregnancy for many women. A pregnant woman might be elated one moment and then suddenly experience bouts of negativity the next. It is important to know the causes of depressive behavior during pregnancy, so that you do not succumb to it.

Although motherhood can be a truly joyful experience, the period of nine months is a roller-coaster ride for the pregnant woman. Here are some of the possible causes for depression during pregnancy:

  1. Changes in level of hormones in the female body leads to mood swings. There are mainly two hormones: estrogen and progesterone which results in change in emotions. During conception, there is a major change in the level of these hormones which ultimately results in depression.
  2. Change in the physical structure of the pregnant woman may be a reason. She might question whether she could regain her previous slimmer figure, which leads to self-doubt and anxiety, and ultimately depression.
  3. Discomfort in moving, sleeping disorders, morning sickness and disliking certain odors add on to the list of irritants which can cause pregnant women to wonder whether it is all truly worth the suffering. They might then feel guilty for even harboring such thoughts, and may consequently feel overwhelming sadness.
  4. Stressful routine and heavy workload can lead to depression during pregnancy.
  5. Various fertility treatments taken for conception may have side-effects including feelings of gloom and dread.
  6. Prior pregnancy losses can greatly affect the pregnant lady mentally. This usually leads to anxiety as they worry about carrying the baby to term, and subsequently severe depression.

It is the responsibility of the partner or a close loved one to take care of the pregnant woman. Do not ignore changes in emotional behavior because of the initial joy received from the news of conception. Seek medical help immediately. Depression is a condition that can be curbed with the help of family support and proper medical advice.  There are many simple ways to treat depression during pregnancy. Here are some suggestions on how to fight depression and mood swings during motherhood:

  • Get adequate sleep and rest.
  • Do light exercises and walking (after consulting your doctor’s advice)
  • Take small and healthy meals during the day. Avoid eating large servings at night. Good nutrition is very important.
  • Listen to soothing music and read relaxing books.
  • If you’re spiritual, visit religious places and listen to devotional songs to calm your mind.
  • Regular activities like cooking and cleaning are some ways to combat emotional changes.
  • Interact with your family and friends, and do not feel guilty or embarrassed to talk about the way you are feeling.

If you are suffering from depression during pregnancy, reach out to your loved ones. Fighting the depression can be very difficult with all the hormonal changes going on. With support from loved ones and medical treatment, however, it can be overcome.