Pregnancy is probably the happiest time in a woman's life simply because she and her whole family is about to get a beautiful new member. But, this is not always such a happy time after all, primarily because pregnancy can also lead to depression. It is also filled with stress and worry as well as number of other changes, both emotionally and physically. As a result, many women develop depression during pregnancy.
Depression can prove to be dangerous; more so during pregnancy as it can compromise on the health of both, the mother and the unborn child. There is no doubt that many of us do feel sad at some point of time and there are bound to be mood swings but depression, coupled with pregnancy can be quite dangerous. It can also result in some extreme sadness and can even affect the daily functioning of the body.
Contrary to popular belief, depression is quite common during pregnancy. At one point of time, it was believed that pregnant women don't suffer from depression but it is not quite right. Now, it is known that the hormone levels inside a woman during pregnancy is actually very high and is a major cause for the mood swings or depression. About 20% of pregnant women experience depression, or its symptoms.
Causes of Depression During Pregnancy
Depression is believed to be caused by a number of different factors, some of which are the following:
- First, it has been linked to a change in the level of chemical composition in the brain. These chemicals are very essential as these control the mood and when, in some way, these are disrupted, it can lead to depression.
- When a woman is pregnant, her body goes through a rapid hormonal change which can trigger a change in the mood.
- Depression can also be caused by various emotional or psychological factors, like stress, financial troubles or even a death in the family.
- Family history of depression can also be one of the reason
Other causes for depression, specially during pregnancy can be:
- Trouble in relationship
- Unplanned pregnancy
- Previous miscarriage or pregnancy loss
- History of emotional, physical or sexual abuse
There are a few ways in which depression during pregnancy can be treated.
- Psychotherapy is one of the chief ways in which depression is generally treated. It is so because psychotherapy is absolutely safe and healthy for both, the mother and the baby.
- There are medications available for the treatment of depression during pregnancy, as well. Antidepressants are widely used to treat depression, although it is always better to take the advice of the medical practitioner before taking these medicines.
It is important to note that at times, depression can also happen after the birth of the baby. This type of condition is known as ‘Postpartum Depression’ and it shows the same symptoms as depression during pregnancy.