What Are The Signs Of Depression While Pregnant
Its normal to have some degree of mood swings and severe emotions during pregnancy, especially if your pregnancy is unplanned. You are coping with the physical and mental effects of pregnancy at the same time that you are trying to determine what path you will take with your pregnancy and, if you are thinking about parenting, planning for the arrival of your little one.
Feeling overwhelmed or stressed during this time is only to be expected. However, there are larger symptoms of depression while pregnant that should not be ignored:
- Feeling sad, hopeless, overwhelmed, restless, moody, worthless, or guilty
- Crying a lot
- Experiencing a drastic change in your appetite and sleep schedule
- Having trouble remembering things, concentrating or making decisions
- Withdrawing from friends and family
- Losing interest in things you usually like to do
- Having no energy or feeling tired all of the time
- Having headaches, stomach problems or other long-lasting aches and pains
Some of these signs of depression while pregnant can simply be side effects of normal emotions during your pregnancy. However, if any of these symptoms last for more than two weeks, please contact your doctor right away it could be a sign that you are experiencing true antenatal depression.
Myths About Postnatal Depression
Postnatal depression is often misunderstood and there are many myths surrounding it.
- postnatal depression is less severe than other types of depression in fact, its as serious as other types of depression
- postnatal depression is entirely caused by hormonal changes its actually caused by many different factors
- postnatal depression will soon pass unlike the baby blues, postnatal depression can persist for months if left untreated and in a minority of cases it can become a long-term problem.
- postnatal depression only affects women research has actually found that up to 1 in 10 new fathers become depressed after having a baby
These factors are equally true of antenatal depression.
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Stillbirth And Pregnancy Loss
In the United States, around 1 in 160 pregnancies end in stillbirth, after 20 weeks of pregnancy. This may increase the risk of postpartum depression.
Experts report that 14.8% of people who experience pregnancy loss have postpartum depression, compared with 8.3% of those with regular deliveries.
If symptoms of depression last 2 weeks or longer within 1 year of giving birth, a person should receive medical attention. This is also crucial for anyone who is having trouble caring for themselves or their baby.
The doctor will ask questions about symptoms and medical histories. They may also request blood tests to rule out other causes of depression.
Treatment for postpartum depression is essential for the well-being of the parent and their newborn. The sooner a person receives it, the sooner they are likely to recover. Treatment is effective in most cases.
Once they have identified the issue, the doctor usually prescribes a combination of psychotherapy and medication.
Tips for helping to support recovery include:
- acknowledging the problem
Support groups can reduce the feelings of isolation and provide tools and helpful strategies.
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What Do You Need To Know About St Johns Wort To Treat Depression
St. Johns wort is an herb that some people use to treat depression. We dont know for sure how well it works in pregnant women or if it can cause problems during pregnancy. Herbal products arent regulated by the Food and Drug Administration , so there isnt much information about how safe it is for pregnant women or rules about how much you can take.
If youre thinking about taking St. Johns wort or any other herbal product during pregnancy, talk to your provider first. Theres very little information on how herbal products may affect your pregnancy.
What If She Gets Mad
One of the most common symptoms of PPD is rage, so this is a legitimate question.
Perhaps the most difficult thing about supporting and loving someone who has postpartum depression is that even when you do the right thing, it doesnt feel good in the moment.
Chances are, your wife will get either mad or sad or both when you suggest that she might have postpartum depression. Be prepared for an episode. The hope is that once she gets out of that, she actually thinks about what you said and does some investigating for herself.
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Emerging Trends In Substance Misuse:
- MethamphetamineIn 2019, NSDUH data show that approximately 2 million people used methamphetamine in the past year. Approximately 1 million people had a methamphetamine use disorder, which was higher than the percentage in 2016, but similar to the percentages in 2015 and 2018. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that overdose death rates involving methamphetamine have quadrupled from 2011 to 2017. Frequent meth use is associated with mood disturbances, hallucinations, and paranoia.
- CocaineIn 2019, NSDUH data show an estimated 5.5 million people aged 12 or older were past users of cocaine, including about 778,000 users of crack. The CDC reports that overdose deaths involving have increased by one-third from 2016 to 2017. In the short term, cocaine use can result in increased blood pressure, restlessness, and irritability. In the long term, severe medical complications of cocaine use include heart attacks, seizures, and abdominal pain.
- KratomIn 2019, NSDUH data show that about 825,000 people had used Kratom in the past month. Kratom is a tropical plant that grows naturally in Southeast Asia with leaves that can have psychotropic effects by affecting opioid brain receptors. It is currently unregulated and has risk of abuse and dependence. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that health effects of Kratom can include nausea, itching, seizures, and hallucinations.
Other Tips For Staying Fit During Pregnancy For Athletes
If you already followed a regular exercise routine before getting pregnant, it is usually okay to continue your workout routine with modifications.
Your doctor will assess how your pregnancy is progressing and let you know if there is something you should stop doing.
Obviously, you will need to make adjustments based on how far along you are and if you have any conditions that would preclude you from exercising.
The key is to avoid strenuous exercise.
A good rule of thumb is to scale back to 80% of what you are used to doing and adjust accordingly.
Now, there are certain things you should definitely avoid.
Lets go over those now.
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Do I Need Health Insurance To Receive This Service
The referral service is free of charge. If you have no insurance or are underinsured, we will refer you to your state office, which is responsible for state-funded treatment programs. In addition, we can often refer you to facilities that charge on a sliding fee scale or accept Medicare or Medicaid. If you have health insurance, you are encouraged to contact your insurer for a list of participating health care providers and facilities.
Are You At Risk For Ppd
Some things make you more likely than others to have PPD. These are called risk factors. Having a risk factor doesnt mean for sure that youll have depression. But it may increase your chances. Talk to your health care provider to see if youre at risk for PPD.
Your health care provider screens you for PPD at your postpartum care checkups. Screening means that your provider asks you questions about your risks, feelings mood. If the screening shows that you may have PPD or that youre at risk for PPD, your provider can help you get treatment.
Risk factors for PPD include:
Negative thoughts and feelings about being a mom can include:
- Having doubts that you can be a good mom
- Putting pressure on yourself to be a perfect mom
- Feeling that youre no longer the person you were before you had your baby
- Feeling that youre less attractive after having your baby
- Having no free time for yourself
- Feeling tired and moody because you arent sleeping well or getting enough sleep
Dont be afraid to talk to your provider. Shes there to help you and your baby be healthy.
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Dont Let Covid Concerns Consume You
Stay safe and advised, but do not overdo it! Never give in to fear or anxiety, says Dr Dharsh. Instead, continue to enjoy your pregnancy in the COVID-endemic world we are heading towards. As long as mama is vaccinated and keeping safe, there is nothing to worry about.
If you do get COVID while pregnant, dont panic. Our infectious disease and respiratory doctors are absolutely amazing at handling such cases. We have excellent data so far of vaccinated mums with COVID-19 coming through this well, healthy and thriving, along with a baby who now has antibodies!
Kierauniv International Clinic For Women#11-48 Mount Elizabeth Novena Specialist Centre, 38 Irrawaddy Road | drdharsh.com
Frequently Asked Questions Expand All
- What are the baby blues?
About 23 days after childbirth, some women begin to feel depressed, anxious, and upset. They may feel angry with the new baby, their partners, or their other children. They also may:
Cry for no clear reason
Have trouble sleeping, eating, and making choices
Question whether they can handle caring for a baby
These feelings, often called the baby blues, may come and go in the first few days after childbirth.
The baby blues usually get better within a few days or 12 weeks without any treatment.
Women with postpartum depression have intense feelings of sadness, anxiety, or despair that prevent them from being able to do their daily tasks.
Postpartum depression can occur up to 1 year after having a baby, but it most commonly starts about 13 weeks after childbirth.
Postpartum depression probably is caused by a combination of factors. These factors include the following:
Changes in hormone levelsLevels of estrogen and progesterone decrease sharply in the hours after childbirth. These changes may trigger depression in the same way that smaller changes in hormone levels trigger mood swings and tension before menstrual periods.
National Womens Health Information Center
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Nipple Piercings And Breastfeeding
For breastfeeding people, says Dr. Chisholm, “consider removing piercing jewelry for the entire time you are nursing rather than each timethis will reduce the chances of bacterial infections.” If you choose to remove your jewelry with each breastfeeding session, be sure to wash your hands and your nipples each time, and use alcohol on the piercing to keep the process as clean as possible, advises Dr. Chisholm.
The Association of Professional Piercers also recommends that breastfeeding people remove nipple piercings during breastfeeding to avoid any potential risk of a baby choking on jewelry.”It’s not worth the risk,” says Saunders.
A nipple piercing could also cause scarring and nerve damage to the nipple, says Dr. Chisholm. However, the potential impact on milk letdown because of the piercing hole openings in nipples “is probably the biggest risk of nipple piercing in breastfeeding,” explains Dr. Chisholm. “This increase in milk letdown can be hard for baby to handle and may impact breastfeeding success,” says Dr. Chisholm.
How Is Depression Treated During Pregnancy
Its best if a team of providers treats your depression during pregnancy. These providers can work together to make sure you and your baby get the best care. Your providers may be:
- Your prenatal care provider. This is the provider who gives you medical care during pregnancy.
- Your primary care provider. This is your main health care provider who gives you general medical care.
- A mental health provider. This may be a psychiatrist, psychologist, social worker, counselor or a therapist.
- Your babys health care provider
Depression can be treated in several ways. You and your providers may decide to use a combination of treatments instead of just one. Treatment can include:
- Counseling, like CBT and IPT
- Support groups. These are groups of people who meet together or go online to share their feelings and experiences about certain topics. Ask your provider or counselor to help you find a support group.
- Medicine. Depression often is treated with medicines called antidepressants. You need a prescription from your provider for these medicines. You may be on one medicine or a combination of medicines. Dont start or stop taking any medicine for PPD without your providers OK.
- Electroconvulsive therapy . In this treatment, electric current is passed through the brain. This treatment is considered safe to use during pregnancy. Providers may recommend ECT to treat severe depression.
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Fertility Struggles When To Seek Help
According to Dr Daly, 80 percent of couples will get pregnant within one year if:
- they are having regular intercourse without contraception and
- the woman is less than 40 years old.
Yet, while some people conceive quickly, one in seven couples face difficulties for a number of reasons, she says. The biggest determinant of fertility is the womans age, followed by sperm-related causes in the male.
How Does Depression Affect Pregnancy
Experiencing depression during pregnancy can impact a mothers health in several ways. Depression during pregnancy can affect you by:
- Interfering with your ability to care for yourself. Its important to take care of your own health during your pregnancy. Depression can cause you to push those personal needs aside. If youre depressed during pregnancy, you might be less able to follow medical recommendations, as well as sleep and eat properly.
- Placing you at a higher risk of using harmful substances. These substances can include tobacco, alcohol and illegal drugs. Depression may cause you to turn to these substances, all of which can have a negative impact on your pregnancy.
- Interfering with your ability to bond with your growing baby. While your baby is in the womb , the baby can actually hear you talk and can sense emotion by the pitch, rhythm and stress in your voice. If you are experiencing depression during your pregnancy, you might find it difficult to develop this bond with your baby. You might feel emotionally isolated.
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What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Depression
Major depression is more than just feeling down for a few days. You may have depression if you have signs or symptoms of depression that last for more than 2 weeks. Signs of a condition are things someone else can see or know about you, like you have a rash or youre coughing. Symptoms are things you feel yourself that others cant see, like having a sore throat or feeling dizzy.
Signs and symptoms of depression include:
Changes in your feelings
- Thinking about death or suicide
Changes in your everyday life
- Eating more or less than you usually do
- Having trouble remembering things, concentrating or making decisions
- Not being able to sleep or sleeping too much
- Withdrawing from friends and family
- Losing interest in things you usually like to do
Changes in your body
- Having no energy and feeling tired all the time
- Having headaches, stomach problems or other aches and pains that dont go away
If youre pregnant and you have any of these signs or symptoms, or if they get worse, call your health care provider. There are things you and your provider can do to help you feel better. If youre worried about hurting yourself, call emergency services at 911.
How To Stay Lean During Pregnancy
The only proven way to stay lean during pregnancy is to follow a healthy diet composed of all the key nutrients your body needs.
You can exercise all you want. But exercise alone will not help you stay lean if you dont watch what you eat.
It is a common misconception to think that you need to eat for two when youre pregnant.
Why would a tiny fetus need so many calories?
This is especially true in the early first trimester when your fetus is the size of a blueberry.
Here are the guidelines you should follow
First Trimester Caloric Intake:
Keep your daily caloric intake the same as usual. On average most women will need about 1800-2000 calories per day.
Second Trimester Caloric Intake:
Now that your baby is growing, this is when you will need to increase your caloric intake. But not by as much as you would think.
You only need an extra 300-350 calories per day. So in general, aim for about 2200 calories per day.
Third Trimester Intake:
The third trimester is when your baby will grow the fastest. That doesnt mean that your plate should grow fast too.
Increase your caloric intake by another 100 calories. So in total, you should be eating about 2300 calories per day.
This is the most effective way of staying lean in pregnancy.
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It Helps To Maintain Healthy Protein Levels
Nutrition needs increase during pregnancy and when breastfeeding. This is to keep up with the increasing demands of the mother and the baby. This is especially true for proteins. Proteins are essential for adequate blood supply and to prevent common pregnancy conditions like:
- Gestational diabetes
Theyre also vital building blocks that your body uses to create skin, bones, muscles, and hair.
Ensuring youre getting enough protein is vital for a healthy pregnancy. Experts recommend 70-100 grams of proteins daily. But it can be hard to consume this much meat and dairy daily. This is especially true when dealing with pregnancy side effects such as lack of appetite, aversions to certain foods or smells, and morning sickness. Collagen is a great and simple way to boost your protein intake so you can reach the recommended levels.