How To Deal With Anxiety And Depression During Pregnancy

Ways To Manage Depression Symptoms While Pregnant

Anxiety and Depression During Pregnancy… Opening up about my struggle

When managing perinatal depressive symptoms it is important to follow your healthcare providers treatment plan regarding taking medications , attending appointments, and staying in close contact with your support system.

Some self-care techniques that can help in the moment include:

  • Avoiding strict schedules to decrease stress during pregnancy
  • Resting when your baby sleeps, or whenever you are able to
  • Setting limits with guests and visitors
  • Delegating household chores/responsibilities to family members or friends who are willing to help
  • Spending less time on social media and avoid comparing yourself to others
  • Being patient and kind with yourself It takes time to feel relief!

Some other helpful actions include:

Adverse Events In Life And Perceived Stress

Within adverse events in life, being exposed to intrusive life events, such as domestic violence or emotional, physical or sexual abuse, has a considerable impact on a mother’s mental health in the perinatal period. A number of studies have found that having been exposed to domestic violence before or during pregnancy , having a history of abuse, or having experienced a sexual assault, are all risk factors for the development of antenatal anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress symptoms . In particular, a study found that having been exposed to a traumatic sexual experience is associated with antenatal anxiety but not depression . Another study found that women who are exposed to physical assault or sexual coercion by their intimate partners before or during pregnancy have higher levels of depressive symptoms during pregnancy .

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.

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Nhs Therapy And Counselling Services

If you’re feeling sad and it’s not improving, a talking therapy might help.

There are different types of talking therapies for mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder .

Talking therapies include cognitive behavioural therapy and counselling.

A GP can refer you for talking treatment, or you can refer yourself directly to an NHS psychological therapies service without going to a GP. If you refer yourself, it’s a good idea to talk to a midwife or GP as well about how you’re feeling.

What Are The Symptoms Of Antenatal Depression

How to deal with anxiety and depression during pregnancy

Pregnancy is meant to be such a happy time but because we dont talk about mental health in pregnancy women dont know that it can be a very different story.

Typical signs of depression include if you:

  • feel generally down most of the time
  • cant be bothered with things
  • cant concentrate or make decisions
  • dont enjoy life
  • think about harming yourself or suicide.

You may not have all these symptoms and they may come on gradually or you may suddenly start to feel very low.

If you feel like you want to harm yourself or feel like you want to die, its important to tell someone. This could be a family member, friend, your GP or midwife. Help is available now if you need it. You can call the Samaritans on 116 123.

I wasnt sleeping well and Id wake up with that horrible feeling of doom starting every day. Id cry at the drop of a hat about things that wouldnt normally make me cry.

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Find Ways To Get Rid Of Stress And Anxiety During Pregnancy

Physical activity can be one of the best ways to manage stress and anxiety. The release from endorphins, which act as natural painkillers in our brain, will help you feel less anxious by releasing those neurochemicals that are responsible for feelings such as happiness or contentmentthey talk more volumes than any medicine! It is important not only during times where we may need a break but also on days when it seems hard just get going because movement provides an instant boost both mentally & physically, helping with mood disorders associated symptoms including depression/anxiety as well as increased vitality .

Aerobic activities like walking have been researched as a de-stressor that can help ease moods and even improve depression.

So as youre making your list of New Years resolutions, why not add keeping yourself & baby healthy & happy to the top of the list! Please ensure to talk to your doctor before changing any fitness or health routine during pregnancy.

Symptoms Of Anxiety During Pregnancy

Some degree of worry is natural during pregnancy. After all, the process may be entirely new for you. You may have faced situations in the past, like miscarriage, that give you reason for concern. But if these worries start to interfere with everyday life, you may have anxiety.

Symptoms include:

  • feeling an uncontrollable sense of anxiousness
  • worrying excessively about things, especially your health or baby
  • inability to concentrate
  • having tense muscles
  • sleeping poorly

Occasionally, bouts of anxiety may lead to panic attacks. These attacks may start very suddenly with the symptoms above, and progress. During a panic attack, your symptoms may be very physical in nature, which can make the experience that much worse.

Symptoms of a panic attack include:

  • feeling like you cannot breathe
  • feeling like youre going crazy
  • feeling like something awful may happen

While anyone can develop anxiety during pregnancy, there are certain risk factors that may contribute, including:

  • family history of anxiety or panic attacks
  • personal history of anxiety, panic attacks, or depression
  • previous trauma
  • use of certain illegal drugs
  • excess stress in everyday life

Mild cases of anxiety usually dont require any specific treatment, though its a good idea to mention your feelings to your doctor.

In severe cases, your doctor may recommend medication after weighing the benefits and risks.

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Not Treating Is Risky

But if the depression is so bad that a pregnant woman is not eating or gaining weight, for instance, then it needs to be treated as aggressively as possible.

For women at risk for depression during pregnancy those who have battled major depression in the past or who experienced depression during a previous pregnancy the news is good: The risk associated with the use of antidepressants during pregnancy is small.

But what should be considered when deciding whether or not to take an antidepressant, or to try other therapies first? And, what research is available to help put an expectant moms mind at ease?

For mild or moderate depression, Id rather use psychotherapy or group therapy than antidepressants, says Hendrick, assistant professor in the department of psychiatry and bio-behavioral sciences at UCLA.

But for pregnant women with major depression, the risk of a relapse after stopping antidepressant medication is greater than the risks posed by treating it with medication.

If health behaviors are not good because of the depression, that could have a negative impact, says Hendrick. If a woman is not eating, not sleeping, feeling stressed or anxious these could have an adverse impact on a developing fetus. And obviously, suicidal feelings are another adverse risk associated with depression.


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If I Am Taking Antidepressants Can I Breastfeed My Baby

5 Tips to Help Ease Prenatal Depression | Pregnancy Anxiety Relief

Breastfeeding provides many health benefits for babies. It also helps mothers and babies bond. If you are taking antidepressants, small amounts will come out through your breast milk. But studies have shown that children exposed to these drugs through breast milk have not had problems.

Even if you are taking antidepressants, you can breastfeed your baby for as long as you wish. Stopping an antidepressant during breastfeeding may cause the depression to return.

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Alternative Therapies Corresponding Treatments As Well As Electroconvulsive Therapy

As an example, some people who are depressed may reveal it by acting disgruntled, resentful, or irritable. Actually, hostility consisting of straight-out acts of physical violence can be a measure of surprise depression, according to a February 28, 2017, record in Psychiatric Times. Depression masquerading what helps depression during pregnancy as temper might seem unexpected in the beginning, however not when you take into consideration that numerous underlying variables, consisting of alcohol or drug abuse as well as youth trauma, have been connected to both.

Relative likewise require education and learning concerning the nature of depression and also might take advantage of encouraging communications. Involving family members can be a crucial element of a therapy plan, especially for pediatric and also late-onset depression. Relative are handy informants what helps depression during pregnancy, can guarantee drug conformity, as well as can urge patients to change habits that bolster depression. In older individuals, depression is frequently comorbid with chronic medical problems as well as can bring about worsening medical end results, including mortality.

What Factors Increase My Risk Of Being Depressed During Pregnancy

There are many different factors that can add to your risk of developing depression during your pregnancy. These risks can include:

  • Having a history of depression or premenstrual dysphoric disorder .
  • Your age at time of your pregnancy the younger you are, the higher the risk.
  • Feeling ambivalent about your pregnancy.

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How To Treat Depression During Pregnancy

For most women, psychotherapy is just as effective, if not more so, than medication for treating prenatal depression and anxiety, Spahr says. A good therapist can help women figure out how to manage conflict with their partner, understand their mixed feelings about becoming a mother or expanding the family, and process thoughts and feelings that may be surfacing from the past. Some therapists do specialize in maternal care, but when searching for someone to see, the most important factor to take into account is whether you feel comfortable opening up to them.

Moms-to-be with prenatal depression also have the option of taking antidepressants. If you choose to take medication, you and your doctor can weigh the benefits and risks and your physician will likely prescribe a low dose to minimize babys exposure. The antidepressants typically considered safest to take during pregnancy include selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors , serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors , bupropion and tricyclic antidepressants.

Ways Of Dealing With Anxiety During Pregnancy

How To Handle Emotions During Pregnancy

There are several methods you can use to treat your stress and worries during pregnancy:

  • Therapy: A therapist or psychologist can help you deal with stress and anxiety before it happens. Its best if you start seeing a professional as soon as you learn about your pregnancy, because the sooner you start, the better. The good thing about therapy is that you get out of it what you put into it, so finding something that resonates with you can help calm your thoughts down.
  • Talk to your partner: Its important to be able to talk about your feelings with your partner because they can help you understand what your feelings are telling you. If youre both feeling the same way and dont understand why, talking it over can help you. You can also use this time to find out if theres anything else thats causing you stress or anxiety about this pregnancy.
  • Dont stress yourself out: If stress is causing anxiety during pregnancy, dont make it worse by stressing yourself out more. Its important to keep calm and relaxed during pregnancy because stress can make it even harder to deal with. Dont forget that the more you stay calm, the easier it is to learn how to handle other things that are happening around you.
  • Meditate: The way youre feeling can cause anxiety and stress, but so can negative thoughts. Meditation can help ease your mind and make your thoughts clear to know what theyre trying to tell you.
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    Ground Yourself With Calming Words

    If your mind is brimming with anxious thoughts, take a moment to center yourself. Sit somewhere, plant your feet on the ground, look around the room and name the different things you see, like pillow, chair, couch, lamp, says Magida.

    If you can, try to focus on the present moment. When youre pregnant, staying present can be hard because theres so much thinking about the future, says Borish. You have all these dreams and fantasies that youre putting on the baby, but for some women, it can cause anxiety due to the lack of control. Remind yourself that anxiety is just a feeling. It might mean your brain is signaling that you need to pay attention, but it doesnt mean theres actually a threat or a danger, Borish says.

    Depression And Anxiety In Pregnancy

    Anxiety and depression often go hand in hand up to half of people experience symptoms of both at the same time. Women who experience depression or anxiety during pregnancy are also more likely to have postnatal depression.

    Its common for pregnant women to worry about their babys health, what the birth experience will be like, and many have concerns about weight gain or body shape. While as many as 3 out of 10 women experience some level of anxiety during pregnancy, some may have more severe symptoms that need extra support. Seek help if you experience the following:

    • stress or feeling on edge much of the time

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    Will Having Depression During Pregnancy Affect My Baby

    If pregnancy depression goes untreated, it can make it harder for you to take care of yourself. You may be less likely to eat healthy or sleep, and you may be more likely to smoke or use alcohol or other substances. This, in turn, can impact not only your own health and wellbeing but your baby’s.

    Untreated depression during pregnancy has been linked to a higher likelihood of a baby being born early or having a low birth weight and with health complications. Research also suggests that babies born to women with depression are more likely to be irritable and may cry more than babies born to moms who aren’t depressed. Later in life, children may be at greater risk of emotional, developmental, and behavioral problems.

    Learn To Breathe Properly

    How can I deal with depression during pregnancy?

    Pregnant women may already find themselves feeling a little short of breath, since by the second trimester theyre inhaling and exhaling 30 to 40 percent more air. Of course, anxiety can also cause people to feel breathless, which doesnt help. Both Magida and Borish recommend a technique called square breathing . Begin by slowly exhaling completely, then inhaling for four seconds, holding your breath for a count of four, exhaling for four seconds and holding your breath again for the same count before repeating. As you do it, imagine a square and that your breath is traveling up one side, across the top, back down and around the bottom. Try practicing this when you arent feeling anxious, so when do you start to feel stressed, it will be one of your go-to tools, says Borish, who adds that it can be especially helpful if youre having trouble falling asleep.

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    What Are The Effects Of Anxiety On Pregnancy

    Anxiety can occur during any trimester of pregnancy. However, the profound hormonal changes in the first trimester make anxiety most severe during this period. If anxiety persists throughout the pregnancy, it can lead to high blood pressure, premature delivery, low birth weight, smaller-than-average head circumference, and miscarriage. For this reason, it is essential to identify and treat pregnancy-induced anxiety early.

    What Is Depression In Pregnancy

    Depression during pregnancy, or antepartum depression, is a mood disorder just like clinical depression. Mood disorders are biological illnesses that involve changes in brain chemistry.During pregnancy, hormone changes can affect the chemicals in your brain, which are directly related to depression and anxiety. These can be exacerbated by difficult life situations, which can result in depression during pregnancy.

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    The Sad Reality About Prenatal Anxiety And Depression

    Finding out that you are expecting a child can be one of the most exciting moments of your life! However, it can also be a time filled with worry, stress, and even fear. Worrying about potential health risks for you and the baby, stressing about the financial strain of raising a child, and even fear of the many unknowns can become overwhelming.

    In late March, my husband and I were shocked to learn that we will be welcoming our first baby in late November! Our joy and excitement was immediate, but as the weeks went on, I began to experience extreme feelings of anxiety and sadness. We contributed my anger outbursts, irritability, and many tears to hormones. But by week 14, I knew these extreme emotions were beginning to affect my ability to function as an employee, daughter, sister, friend, and most importantly, a wife, and future mother.

    While having a history of depression or anxiety within your family or yourself is a large risk factor for developing prenatal and postpartum depression and anxiety, shifts in hormones, relationship conflicts, previous pregnancy loss, stressful life events , pregnancy complications, and history of abuse are all potential risk factors. Often times just one of these triggers can be more than you can handle.

    Symptoms of prenatal depression can include:

    Persistent sadness

    Sleeping too little or too much

    Loss of interest in activities that are usually enjoyed

    Recurring thoughts of death, suicide, or hopelessness


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