What Is Perinatal Depression
Perinatal depression is a mood disorder that can affect women during pregnancy and after childbirth. The word perinatal refers to the time before and after the birth of a child. Perinatal depression includes depression that begins during pregnancy and depression that begins after the baby is born . Mothers with perinatal depression experience feelings of extreme sadness, anxiety, and fatigue that may make it difficult for them to carry out daily tasks, including caring for themselves or others.
How is postpartum depression different from the baby blues? The baby blues is a term used to describe mild mood changes and feelings of worry, unhappiness, and exhaustion that many women sometimes experience in the first 2 weeks after having a baby. Babies require around-the-clock care, so its normal for mothers to feel tired or overwhelmed sometimes. If mood changes and feelings of anxiety or unhappiness are severe, or if they last longer than 2 weeks, a woman may have postpartum depression. Women with postpartum depression generally will not feel better unless they receive treatment.
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.
How Are Problems Treated
Treatment for mental health problems may include:
- Prescription medicine. Always talk to a doctor before you start taking or stop taking any medicines during your pregnancy. If you take any kind of medicine for a mental health issue and are pregnant or planning to get pregnant, tell your doctor. Don’t stop taking it unless your doctor tells you to. Some medicines may cause problems for a growing baby, but stopping your medicine may make things worse. Your doctor can make a treatment plan that is best for you and your baby.
- Talk therapy. Talking one-on-one with a therapist can be a great way to manage stress, deal with depression, and ease anxiety during pregnancy. Finding a support group where you can share your concerns with other mothers who know what you’re going through also can help. Talking with a social worker or counselor can help you deal with money issues, worries over raising a child, or other stresses in your life.
- Other approaches. Many women find comfort in activities like yoga, exercise, and meditation. If you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed, talking to a friend, family member, or faith leader can help you feel better.
Many moms feel anxious or depressed at some point in their pregnancy, and some may even need treatment for it. But a mental health problem doesn’t have to be a problem for you or your baby. Get the help you need to feel better, and you’ll be doing the best thing for you both.
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Affect And Preterm Birth
State anxiety during pregnancy significantly predicted gestational age and/or PTB in seven of 11 studies recently reviewed , but only in combination with other measures or in subgroups of the sample. More consistent effects have been found for `pregnancy anxiety’ . Pregnancy anxiety appears to be a distinct and definable syndrome reflecting fears about the health and well being of one’s baby, of hospital and health-care experiences , of impending childbirth and its aftermath, and of parenting or the maternal role . It represents a particular emotional state that is closely associated with state anxiety but more contextually based, that is, tied specifically to concerns about a current pregnancy. Assessment of pregnancy anxiety has entailed ratings of four adjectives combined into an index . Other measures exist as well.
In sum, recent evidence is remarkably convergent, indicating that pregnancy anxiety predicts the timing of delivery in a linear manner. Further, pregnancy anxiety predicts risk of spontaneous PTB with meaningful effect sizes across studies, comparable to or larger than effects of known risk factors such as smoking and medical risk. These effects hold for diverse income and ethnic groups in the USA and in Canada. The consistency of these findings paves the way for investigating the antecedents and correlates of pregnancy anxiety, mechanisms of effects, and available treatments.
I Literally Thought That You Got Pregnant Cried From Happiness Felt Super Cute In Floral Dresses & A Glowing Complexion & Then You Popped Out The Baby Naive Yes
Let me tell you how it really is .
My BF & I got engaged on Christmas eve in Miami. Life complete. Literally everything Ive ever dreamed of. And the ring, oh boy did he do good. It was just perfect. I thought I couldnt be happier.
Wedding set for 2022 & in the meantime we wanted to try for a baby. Perfect I thought, I dont want to be breastfeeding during my wedding, & the baby will be old enough for a sitter on MY, oh sorry OUR SPECIAL DAY.
I went one month just tracking my ovulation the old fashion way, counted to around 12-14 days after the first day of my last period. I started taking pregnancy tests like four days before my period & really thought I was pregnant. And I cried a little when the familiar cramps & bloating came, finished off by a little blood on my toilet paper one morning.
We started to try for a baby a bit harder & bought an ovulation test. Turns out my ovulation was on day 8, not 12.
Then BAM, I was pregnant.
Took 10080 pregnancy tests & there was no doubt. I got pregnant on our first real try. How could it happen so fast?
We were ecstatic. My boyfriend kissed me, & I could tell he was very happy. I was too.
For about 24 hours. Then my hormones kicked in. It started with us going to a dinner with friends where I happily drank my nonalcoholic ginger beer. Until it was time to leave. My BF then had the audacity to want to go meet up with a couple of his friends.
Everything I loved to do, I couldnt.
My dear boyfriend tried as best he could.
Characteristics Of The Mothers And Babies
A total of 555 women participated in this study with a mean age of 29.0 years , and 38% were first-time mothers. Most of the women lived with a partner, had a Grade 12 or higher education, and had a family income of at least $40,000. Sixty-eight babies had a 1-minute Apgar score < 7, while 15 babies had a 5-minute Apgar of < 7. Only 20 of the babies birth weight was < 2500g, while 39 babies were SGA. Thirty-two babies were born preterm .
Table 1 Characteristics of mothers and infants
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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Anxiety And Depression During Pregnancy And How To Cope
When youre expecting a child, its normal for parents to expect some anxiety. Feeling anxious is our body and minds way of preparing us for a stressful event and having a baby comes with a lot of changes, which are inevitably stressful. In some cases, however, anxiety can become more severe and affect an expecting mothers ability to function normally. In these cases, its important to recognize what it is, why its happening, and what you can do about it.
Prenatal anxiety and depression are otherwise identical to regular anxiety and depression, except it occurs during pregnancy. Its important to recognize any symptoms because they can be warning signs of postpartum depression.
Symptoms of prenatal anxiety and depression:
- Racing thoughts
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What Data Suggests About Antidepressant Use In Pregnancy
Past data about the use of antidepressants in pregnancy has found some link between using the medication and developmental complications in children, such as autism and ADHD.
But the data has mostly been observational and hasnt controlled for other factors that could raise the risk of developmental, cognitive, or behavioral issues. Its important to look at data in context and control for confounding variables, Gallagher says. Meaning, there are other risk factors for behavioral and developmental complications in children that pregnant patients taking medication may have had, and some of these studies havent accounted for them.
Research has also linked certain antidepressantsspecifically, fluoxetine and paroxetinewith birth defects. The CDC notes that fluoxetine and paroxetine were linked to certain birth defects, including heart defects, skull defects, and abdominal wall defects. However, there was no confirmed link between sertraline , a commonly-used SSRI, and any birth defects in this particular study.
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Get To The Root Of Your Anxiety
One of the aspects that makes therapy for anxiety so helpful is that it allows you to get to the root of your anxiety. This can help you examine your anxiety and fears and challenge them. You can do this on your own as well, though it may be easier with the help of a therapist.
To get to the root of your anxiety, write down what thoughts are causing your anxiety. For example, maybe you have a fear of giving birth. Next, consider whether there are other thoughts associated with it. Maybe your specific fear is that something bad will happen to you while giving birth. Now consider the evidence for this fear and whether the fear is rational or not. Maybe you ask your doctor about the risks of childbirth and learn that while there are some risks associated with giving birth, they are generally low.
You can do what is within your control to reduce the risks, but at some point you will have to accept that you cannot control the entire situation. You and your doctor can come up with a birthing plan to help you feel more in control. When you feel anxious you can remind yourself that you have a plan in place, but you cannot control everything. Mindfulness and positive distractions can be very helpful when it comes to accepting what is outside of your control.
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What Are Some Of The Signs Of Depression During Pregnancy
During pregnancy, your body goes through many changes. You may experience a lot of different emotions throughout pregnancy sometimes carrying you up the emotional roller coaster, and sometimes down. Its okay to feel all of these different emotions. However, if you find youre having any of the following symptoms during your pregnancy, it could be depression and you should reach out to your healthcare provider right away. Signs of depression during pregnancy can include:
- Having recurrent thoughts of death or suicide.
- Having a depressed mood for most of the day, nearly early day, for the last two weeks.
- Feeling guilty, hopeless or worthless.
- Having difficulty thinking, concentrating or making decisions.
- Losing interest or pleasure in most activities during the day, nearly every day, for the last two weeks.
If you have any of the above symptoms your provider may ask you the following questions:
- Over the past two weeks, have you felt down, depressed or hopeless?
- Over the past two weeks, have you felt little interest or pleasure in doing things?
If you answer yes to either of these questions, your healthcare provider will ask you more questions during a more in-depth depression screening test.
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How To Handle Depression While Pregnant
It can be difficult to reach out for help, but its crucial that you address your symptoms of depression since being depressed can lead to reductions in prenatal care. The first step is to talk with your physician, midwife, or therapist. You can address your symptoms through ongoing therapy and possibly through medication. There are medications that are safe to take while pregnant which can treat your symptoms, and your physician or midwife can talk to you about this option.
In addition to seeking out medical attention, changing some of your daily habits and including some new practices can help. Though depression can impact the way you sleep and your diet, its important to get as much rest as possible and nourish your body with healthy foods. Both will give you more energy, which can improve your mood.
Getting enough physical activity each day can also help. That doesnt mean you have to do anything strenuous. A walk around your neighborhood is a great way to get your blood pumping. Exercise and being out in nature are both natural mood-boosters. For an even greater benefit, take that walk with a friend, family member, or your partner. Feeling supported and understood can make a big difference in your attitude and outlook.
If youre pregnant and dealing with depression, feel free to contact me. Together, we can work on even more strategies to combat those feelings so you can enjoy this unique stage of life.
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Physical Symptoms Of Stress In Pregnancy
- Overeating or not eating enough
- Increased likelihood of consuming alcohol, nicotine, or other addictive substances
Its normal to feel some amount of stress in our day-to-day lives. Stress motivates us to adjust to new situations and develop new coping strategies to face lifes problems.
But, when you are under stress for too long it is time to talk about what youre experiencing with your partner, midwife, a close friend, and/or family member. Especially if any of the symptoms listed above are very intense and last for more than two weeks.
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Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale
The Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale is a simple checklist that asks about your mental health. It can indicate whether youre experiencing symptoms that are common with depression and anxiety, and help you recognise when you need to seek support.
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Tips For How To Calm Anxiety While Pregnant
Most pregnant women are already involved in healthcare and have access to resources available to meet their needs. If you have been screened as positive for perinatal anxiety by a healthcare professional, there are some actions you can take to start taking care of yourself. Working with providers who have training in the field of perinatal mental health can ensure that the therapies and treatments are appropriate for both the mother and the baby.
Here are ten ways to calm your anxiety during pregnancy:
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Whats The Treatment For Anxiety In Pregnancy
Your midwife or GP will talk to you about all your options and the pros and cons of each treatment. Whats best for you will depend on things like:
- how bad your symptoms are
- what has help you in the past
- what services are available locally.
Anxiety, phobias and panic attacks are usually treated using self-help treatments based on cognitive behavioural therapy .
“I didn’t think CBT would work but I found it so helpful. I had a little guide book so if I was feeling anxious at work or at home, I could refer to it for tips and pointers to get me through certain situations.
If you need more help you may be referred to a specialist mental health team for pregnant women. You may also be offered therapy, such as cognitive behavioural therapy, mindfulness and applied relaxation with a professional therapist. You may also be offered medication, such as antidepressants.
Find out more about treatment and support for mental health.
Symptoms Of Depression In Pregnancy
Some symptoms of depression, such as fatigue or trouble sleeping, are normal during pregnancy. But you may have prenatal depression when you have a sense of sadness or hopelessness, lose interest or pleasure in things that you used to enjoy, or aren’t able to function in your daily life, and these symptoms last for weeks.
You may be depressed if you’ve experienced any of the following symptoms for at least two weeks:
- Losing interest in daily activities, or having a sense that nothing is enjoyable or fun anymore
- Feeling “blue,” sad, or “empty” for most of the day, every day
- Having low self-esteem, such as thinking that you won’t be a good parent
- Crying all the time
- Feeling extremely irritated or agitated
- Feeling anxious about your baby
- Finding it hard to concentrate or make decisions
- Having low energy or extreme fatigue that doesn’t improve with rest
- Experiencing changes in your patterns of eating or sleeping, such as wanting to eat or sleep all the time or not being able to eat or sleep at all
- Having overwhelming feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or hopelessness
- Feeling that life isn’t worth living
Research suggests these symptoms may be more likely to happen in the first and third trimesters.
It’s also common for women to develop the first signs of postpartum depression , or depression that develops in the year after giving birth, during pregnancy. In fact, an estimated half of women with PPD first notice symptoms of depression during pregnancy.
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