Can Depression During Pregnancy Affect Your Baby
Some women dont seek treatment for their pregnancy depression out of embarrassment, shame or guilt, or simply because they think their depression symptoms are just normal pregnancy symptoms that will go away on their own.
Over time, these problems can snowball as your baby gets older. Babies and children of mothers who experienced depression during pregnancy are at greater risk for learning delays and emotional issues, including aggression.
Theres also the fact that depression may not end when your pregnancy does. Being depressed when youre pregnant also puts you at a higher risk of postpartum depression. In fact, research estimates that around a quarter of women with PPD first became depressed while they were pregnant.
So if you think theres any chance youre suffering from pregnancy depression, ask for help for yourself, but also because your baby needs a mother who’s healthy both physically and mentally.
Depression In Pregnant Women And Mothers: How It Affects You And Your Child
Depression is an illness that affects the way people think, act and feel. About 6% of women will experience depression at some point in their lives. This number increases to about 10% for women who are pregnant.
Women are more at risk of depression while they are pregnant, and during the weeks and months after having a baby. During pregnancy, hormone changes can affect brain chemicals and cause depression and anxiety. Sometimes, pregnant women dont realize they are depressed. They may think they have symptoms of pregnancy or the baby blues, which many women experience right after birth.
Its also important to know that as many as 10% of fathers experience postpartum depression after the birth of a child.
The good news is that depression can be treated. Read the signs listed below, and talk to your doctor if you have any of them. Let your partner and family members know the signs so that they can also be aware.
If you dont get help, depression can cause problems for you and your baby.
The Fetal Programming The Intrauterine Environment And The Effects On Neonatal Outcomes: Role Of Nutrition And Obesity
Maternal nutrition represents another risk factors known to influence the fetal development and to induce long-term consequences . In the following paragraphs, we will describe the relationship between maternal nutrition and obesity in pregnancy focusing our attention on their effects on the offsprings behavioral and cognitive deficits.
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Dr Harvey Karp Shares Best Advice For Moms Going Through Postpartum Depression People
Dr. Harvey Karp Shares Best Advice for Moms Going Through Postpartum Depression.
Youve ultimately obtained this precious baby that youve been expecting for so long. Yet, when you take a look at them, you do not feel delight, like everyone expects you to like you expected to. Biomedical engineering doctoral pupil Tanmay Mathur is developing personalized blood vessel versions to improve treatments for patients with sickle cell condition. Approximately 8% of daddies does depression affect your pregnancy experience concerned depression. Verywell Minds material is for informational and also academic objectives just. Our internet site is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical recommendations, diagnosis, or treatment. Your telephone call is private, and also theres no stress to commit to treatment till youre ready.
What Are The Symptoms Of Depression During Pregnancy
Its often difficult to diagnose prenatal depression because some of its warning signs mirror so many “normal” pregnancy symptoms, including:
- Inability to concentrate
- Mood swings or general emotional instability
If youre not sure whether your feelings are within a healthy range, its best to discuss your symptoms with your doctor to be safe.
If you have five of the following more serious symptoms of depression for most of the day every day during the same two-week period, you should seek help:
- Sad, hopeless, restless, indifferent or depressed mood
- Crying a lot
- Withdrawal from friends and family
- Loss of interest or pleasure in activities you used to enjoy
- Weight loss
- Weight gain that exceeds your target pregnancy weight gain
- Wanting to eat all the time, or no appetite at all
- Trouble sleeping or sleeping too much
- Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
- Having trouble thinking, concentrating or making decisions
- Thoughts of harming yourself, death or suicide
- Having headaches, stomach problems or other pains that dont go away
- Missing prenatal visits or not following medical instructions
- Using harmful substances like tobacco, alcohol or illegal drugs
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Study Setting And Participants
The study sample included of pregnant women who were attending the antenatal clinic at Jaya Nagar General Hospital , which is a public sector hospital in Bangalore. The study was nested within an ongoing cohort study, the study protocol of which was published earlier . The eligibility criteria included women above or equal to 18 years of age, with confirmed pregnancy of < 6 months and having no obstetric or medical complication in the present pregnancy. The study analyzed the data of 280 pregnant women who had enrolled and completed the baseline visit for the study between August 2017 and April 2018.
What Causes Depression During Pregnancy
No one knows for sure, and depression is far from a guaranteed side effect of pregnancy. But it’s a pretty sure bet that those raging hormones play a significant role.
Hormones directly affect the brain chemistry that controls emotions and mood. Those same hormonal fluctuations that wreak premenstrual emotional havoc can lead to prenatal depression.
In fact, research has found that women who suffer from pronounced PMS are at greater risk for depression during pregnancy.
Genetics may play a role too. Depression tends to run in families. If anyone in your family has a history of depression or any other mood disorder, youre more susceptible to experiencing it too.
Add in one or more of the risk factors like those mentioned above, and you have all the potential ingredients for a case of depression.
In short, depression during pregnancy is usually the result of a combination of factors, not all of which are fully understood.
What is known is that depression doesnt happen because a woman did something wrong, and moms-to-be arent to blame for these emotional valleys. The important thing is understanding your risk factors, knowing the signs that you could be depressed, and seeking help when you need it.
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Association Of Prenatal Depression With Physiologic Parameters
Table 5 shows the association between physiologic parameters with prenatal depression. Presence of anemia showed some strong association with prenatal depression although this was not statistically significant. No association found between BMI and depression.
Table 5. Association of prenatal depression with physiological parameters .
Association Of Prenatal Depression With Obstetric History
On bivariate analysis, the number of pregnancies and unplanned pregnancy showed an association with depression at a P-value of < 0.2. However, there was no significant association observed from multivariate logistic regression analysis.
Table 3. Association of depression with obstetric history of the pregnant women .
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Premature Birth And Low Birth Weight
Prenatal depression is associated with both premature birth and low birth weight. Of note, it is possible for a baby to be born at less than a healthy weight, even when born at full term. Premature births and low birth weight are two of the most common causes of neuro-cognitive deficits and developmental milestone delays in children.
Prenatal depression also increases the likelihood of pre-eclampsia, which is a condition characterized by dangerously high blood pressure in the third trimester.
While some studies looked at the illness of depression during pregnancy, some assessed the relationship between prenatal stress and fetal health. Experiencing external stressors while pregnant, such as an abusive relationship or socioeconomic deprivation, is shown to potentially be harmful to the unborn child. Prenatal stress can compromise uterine blood supply, which is the source of nutrients to the unborn child. This can potentially lead to restricted growth of a developing fetus.
Are Antidepressant Medications Safe During Pregnancy
Growing evidence suggests that many of the currently available antidepressant medicines are relatively safe for treating depression during pregnancy, at least in terms of short-term effects on the baby. Long-term effects have not been fully studied. You should discuss the possible risks and benefits with your doctor.
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Affect And Low Birth Weight
Recent evidence points more often to the role of maternal depressive symptoms in the etiology of LBW as compared with the etiology of PTB . The recent meta-analysis on depression in pregnancy, cited earlier, evaluated 20 studies and found that high depressive symptoms were associated with 1.4 to 2.9 times higher risk of LBW in undeveloped countries, and 1.2 times higher risk on average in the USA . Another recent review found relatively large effects of maternal depressive symptoms on infant birth weight across several studies, with the largest effects for low-income or low social status women and women of color . Furthermore, although there are few studies on diagnosed disorders, one study reported that mothers with a depressive disorder had 1.8 times greater risk of giving birth to a LBW infant . Thus, evidence appears to be stronger for contributions of depressive symptoms or disorder to slower growth of the fetus and LBW than to the timing of delivery or PTB, and these effects are pronounced for disadvantaged women . In contrast, very few studies have demonstrated any effects of anxiety on LBW, with rare exceptions .
Socio Demographic Characteristics Of The Respondents
Table 1 shows the frequency distribution of socio demographic characteristics of the respondents. Of the 280 pregnant mothers, majority of them belonged to the age group of more than 20 years, the mean age of the respondents being 23.02 ± 3.40 years. Over two-thirds among them were Muslim and 40.4% had completed High school. While 92.1% were housewives, the spouses of over half of the respondents were semi-skilled workers. According to the Kuppuswamy Socio economic status scale, more than half of the respondents belonged to Upper Lower class. Nearly seventy percent of the pregnant mothers had no blood relationship with their husbands, where as a notable 13.2% said that their husbands were a first cousin from their mother’s side.
Table 1. Socio demographic characteristics of the study participants .
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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.
Take Care Of Yourself
Preparing for a new baby is a lot of hard work, but your health should come first. So resist the urge to get everything done: Cut down on your chores, and do things that will help you to relax. Taking care of yourself is a key part of taking care of your unborn child.
Open up to your partner, your family, or your friends about what concerns you. If you ask for support, you’ll find that you often get it.
Your OB-GYN or regular doctor may screen you for depression at a routine office visit. They can ask you a series of questions to check your risk for depression and can offer treatment if necessary.
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Stress And Preterm Birth
More than 80 scientific investigations on stress and PTB were recently reviewed by Dunkel Schetter and Glynn , of which a majority had prospective designs, large samples, and validated measures, and were fairly well controlled for confounds such as medical risks, smoking, education, income, and parity. These studies can be grouped by the type of stress examined. Of the more than a dozen published studies assessing `major life events in pregnancy’, a majority found significant effects women who experienced major life events such as the death of a family member were at 1.4 to 1.8 times greater risk of PTB, with strongest effects when events occurred early in pregnancy. The majority of a second, smaller group of studies on catastrophic, community-wide disasters also showed significant effects on gestational age at birth or PTB. A third small set of studies on chronic stressors, such as household strain or homelessness, all reported significant effects on PTB. Finally, a majority of past investigations on neighborhood stressors such as poverty and crime indicated significant effects on gestational age or PTB. In comparison, studies on daily hassles and perceived stress did not consistently predict PTB. Thus, of the many distinguishable forms of stress, many contribute to the risk of PTB.
What This Means For You
If you find yourself struggling with emotional and mental health challenges and experiencing signs of anxiety and/or depression talk with your OB/GYN, primary care physician, or other healthcare provider for appropriate referrals.
You may be able to do telehealth sessions with a therapist or counselor, even as a new patient. If you’re having any thoughts of self-harm or suicide, help is available 24/7 at the National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255.
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If Im Depressed Will It Affect My Children
Depression is treatable. But if it is not treated, it will affect your children.
Moms who are depressed may have trouble caring for their children. They may be loving one minute and withdrawn the next. They may respond to their child in a negative way or not respond at all. Your feelings and your behaviour will affect your ability to care for your children.
Depression can also affect attachment, which is important for your childs development. Attachment is a deep emotional bond that a baby forms with the person who provides most of his care. A secure attachment develops quite naturally. A mother responds to her crying infant, offering whatever she feels her baby needsfeeding, a diaper change, cuddling. Secure attachment helps protect against stress and is an important part of a babys long-term emotional health. It makes a baby feel safe and secure, and helps him learn to trust others.
If youre depressed, you may have trouble being loving and caring with your baby all the time. This can lead to an insecure attachment, which can cause problems later in childhood.
How a mothers depression affects her child depends on the childs age.
Babies who dont develop a secure attachment may:
- have trouble interacting with their mother ,
- have problems sleeping,
- may be delayed in their development,
- have more colic,
What Is Antenatal Depression
Antenatal depression is when you feel sad all the time for weeks or months during your pregnancy. The condition can vary from mild to severe and can affect women in different ways.
Some women have depression after having a baby. This is called postnatal depression.
Pregnancy can be a very emotional experience and it can sometimes be difficult to know whether your feelings are manageable or a sign of something more serious. Pregnancy hormones can affect your emotions, you may also have difficulty sleeping and you may be feeling sick. This can all make you feel low.
Trust yourself. You are the best judge of whether your feelings are normal for you. Talk to your midwife or GP if you think you have any symptoms of depression and they last for more than two weeks.
Depression is a mental health condition and not a sign of weakness, something that will go away on its own or that you should just snap out of. Depression can be treated with the right care and support.
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How To Proceed About Does Depression Affect Your Pregnancy Before It Is Too Late
The most likely theory is that mental wellness changes are triggered by the considerable adjustments in a ladys hormonal agents while pregnant. Yet other researches have suggested there is no recognized does depression affect your pregnancy relationship between hormones and postpartum state of mind and also anxiety conditions, as well as hormone therapy has actually not aided those experiencing such disorders.
The Fetal Programming The Intrauterine Environment And The Effects On Neonatal Outcomes: Role Of Stress And Depression
Growing lines of evidence support an important role for the intrauterine environment in shaping the fetal development and the subsequent childs health or disease risk. Indeed, the developing fetal brain is particularly plastic and sensitive to several in utero environmental adversities that can lead to long-term implications . This phenomenon, known as early life programming, has been extensively studied in relation to individual exposure to maternal depression and/or obesity during pregnancy, but there is a lack of data about the effects of their comorbidity on the fetal development. In particular, a major knowledge gap concerns the biological pathways that are altered by comorbid depression and obesity in pregnancy, and that shape the fetal vulnerability of developing altered mood and/or metabolic dysfunctions later in life.
In this context, maternal stress represents a key factor that has received most of the attention, as it is known to influence the fetal development determining also long-term consequences . Interestingly, psychosocial stress exposure in pregnancy has been suggested influencing the infant temperament .
Fig. 1: Effects in the transmission of vulnerability from comorbid depressed and obese mothers to their offspring.
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