What Is Pregnancy Depression Called

Do I Need Health Insurance To Receive This Service

Postpartum Depression – What it Really Looks Like

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.

Preventing Postpartum Mood Disorders

Osborne says not enough studies exist that look at preventing postpartum mood disorders, although they are becoming more common. For example, one study showed that mothers who learned soothing and sleep-promoting methods for their babies had lower rates of postpartum depression. Another study showed that taking an antidepressant right away in the postpartum period could help prevent mood episodes in women with a history of postpartum depression.

Sleep is another key area of postpartum care to help prevent mood disorders.

If I see a woman whos at risk for postpartum depression, I have her come in with her partner so we can make a proactive plan for sleep, she says. Proper sleep can make the difference in preventing a mood disorder. Getting at least four hours of sleep may mean taking shifts for feeding or having the partner do everything but nursing.

She says the main message shed like mothers to hear is that women shouldnt be afraid to seek help.

We need to break down the stigma of mental illness, especially for new mothers, because it does respond to treatment, she says.

#TomorrowsDiscoveries: Depression and Anxiety During Pregnancy Lauren Osborne, M.D

How Is Depression During Pregnancy Treated

Antepartum depression can be successfully treated using standard treatments for major depression. These treatments include:

  • Counseling or therapy, including specific techniques such as cognitive behavioral therapy and interpersonal psychotherapy
  • Brain stimulation therapies, such as electroconvulsive therapy , in which a low-level electrical current is passed through the brain although a review of case studies, published in the Archives of Womens Mental Health, recommends using ECT only as a last resort

Prescription antidepressants offer benefits to both the mother and her child that need to be balanced carefully against their risks.

Although research findings have been mixed, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force review of the scientific evidence suggests that antidepressant use during pregnancy could be associated with a small increase in the risk of serious harm to infants. Pregnant women should discuss the pros and cons of treatment with a particular antidepressant medication with their doctors.

While some pregnant women experience such severe depression that antidepressants are essential, for women with milder forms of depression, counseling or therapy can be an effective option.

Interpersonal psychotherapy which focuses on exploring a persons relationships, identifying problems in those relationships, and improving interpersonal skills was also shown to be effective in treating depression.

With additional reporting by Pamela Kaufman.

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Can Postpartum Depression Be Prevented

Postpartum depression isn’t entirely preventable. It helps to know warning signs of the condition and what factors increase your risk. Here are some tips that can help prevent postpartum depression:

  • Be realistic about your expectations for yourself and your baby.
  • Limit visitors when you first go home.
  • Ask for help â let others know how they can help you.
  • Sleep or rest when your baby sleeps.
  • Exercise â take a walk and get out of the house for a break.
  • Keep in touch with your family and friends â don’t isolate yourself.
  • Foster your relationship with your partner â make time for each other.
  • Expect some good days and some bad days.

Causes Of Prenatal Depression

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Prenatal depression can occur in any pregnant person, regardless of their age, race, socioeconomic status, culture, or education.

There is no single cause for this mental health disorder, though the demands of pregnancy can be a contributing factor. Unfortunately, some pregnant people are more susceptible to developing prenatal depression compared to others.

Some risk factors for prenatal depression include:

  • A personal history of anxiety, depression, or bipolar disorder
  • A family history of perinatal disorders or mental illness
  • An unwanted or teenage pregnancy
  • A high-risk pregnancy
  • Low socioeconomic status and lack of support
  • A diagnosis of a substance use disorder
  • A history of physical or sexual abuse

While we don’t know definitively why some patients develop prenatal depression and others don’t, we suspect it has to do with the intersection of genetic predisposition, hormonal changes, and social stressors, says Emma Basch, PsyD, founder and therapist at Dr. Emma Basch & Associates.

If you are at high risk of developing prenatal depression, Dr. Basch recommends starting therapy while trying to conceive or early in your pregnancy to maintain your mental health throughout the perinatal period. This can help prevent prenatal depression in some pregnant people.

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If Youre Taking An Antidepressant When You Get Pregnant Dont Stop Taking It Without Talking To Your Provider First

What is depression?

Depression is a medical condition that causes feelings of sadness and a loss of interest in things you like to do. It can affect how you feel, think and act and can interfere with your daily life. It needs treatment to get better.

Perinatal depression is depression that happens during pregnancy or in the first year after having a baby. Its one of the most common medical complications of pregnancy. It affects up to 1 in 7 women . It includes postpartum depression , which is depression that happens after pregnancy.

Depression is not your fault. And treatment can help you feel better. Untreated perinatal depression can cause problems for you and your baby. If you think youre depressed, tell your health care provider right away.

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

  • Feeling sad, hopeless or overwhelmed
  • Feeling restless or moody
  • Thinking about death or suicide

Changes in your everyday life

Changes in your body

Can depression during pregnancy affect you and your baby?

What causes depression?

More information

Icipating In Clinical Research

Clinical trials are research studies that look at new ways to prevent, detect, or treat diseases and conditions. Although individuals may benefit from being part of a clinical trial, participants should be aware that the primary purpose of a clinical trial is to gain new scientific knowledge so that others may be better helped in the future.

Researchers at NIMH and around the country conduct many studies with patients and healthy volunteers. Talk to your health care provider about clinical trials, their benefits and risks, and whether one is right for you.

For more information, visit NIMH’s clinical trials information webpage.

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It Was Time To Get Help

She actually began researching ways to end her life. The suicidal thoughts were intermittent and not long-lasting. But even after theyd passed, the depression remained. At about five months postpartum, Saremi had her first-ever panic attack during a Costco shopping trip with her baby. I decided I was ready to get some help, she says.

Saremi talked to her primary care doctor about her depression, and was happy to discover he was both professional and nonjudgmental. He referred her to a therapist and suggested a prescription for an antidepressant. She opted to try therapy first and still goes once a week.

What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Antepartum Depression

Postpartum Depression

Depression during pregnancy can have the same symptoms that define major depression in the general population. These can include:

  • Persistent feelings of sadness or emptiness
  • Loss of interest in activities or hobbies that were once enjoyable
  • Feeling hopeless, worthless, helpless, or guilty
  • Frequently feeling irritated, anxious, frustrated, or angry

However, its important to note that a number of symptoms of major depression are similar to the changes that many pregnant women typically experience:

  • Fatigue and decreased energy
  • Changes in appetite and eating habits

This overlap can make it very difficult to identify pregnant women who need help.

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What Are The Signs & Symptoms Of Postpartum Depression

Symptoms of postpartum depression can vary from woman to woman. But common signs include:

  • feeling sad, hopeless, or overwhelmed
  • feeling worried, scared, or panicked
  • blaming yourself unnecessarily
  • sleeping too much or too little
  • eating too much or too little
  • trouble concentrating
  • not feeling attached to the baby
  • not wanting to do things that usually are enjoyable

Although it is very rare, some women have very serious symptoms such as:

  • thoughts of hurting the baby or themselves
  • hearing voices, seeing things that are not there, or feeling paranoid

How Is Postpartum Depression Diagnosed

There is not a specific test that diagnoses postpartum depression. Your healthcare provider will evaluate you at your postpartum visit. This visit may include discussing your health history, how youâve felt since delivery, a physical exam, pelvic exam and lab tests. Many providers schedule visits at two or three weeks postpartum to screen for depression. This ensures you get the help you need as soon as possible.

They may do a depression screening or ask you a series of questions to assess if you have postpartum depression. They’ll ask how you’re feeling and how your baby is doing. Be open and honest with your provider to ensure they get an accurate picture of your emotions and thoughts. They can help distinguish if your feelings are typical or symptoms of postpartum depression.

Your healthcare provider may order a blood test because postpartum depression can cause symptoms similar to many thyroid conditions.

Remember, your healthcare provider is there to support you and make sure you are healthy, so be honest with them. There is no judgment, and you arenât alone in your feelings.

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What Can I Expect If I Have Prenatal Depression

For most people, symptoms of prenatal depression get better with treatments. Therapy, medications and lifestyle changes can significantly improve your outlook. Keep in mind that you may need a combination of medications and therapy for symptoms to improve. You may also need to try different types of therapy or medications.

Are Antidepressant Medications Safe During Pregnancy

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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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Can You Prevent Pregnancy Depression

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends that moms-to-be seek out therapy or counseling to address pregnancy depression preemptively if they have one or more of the following risk factors:

  • Youre currently experiencing signs or symptoms of depression.
  • You have a history of depression or other mental health conditions.
  • Youre partnerless or are a teenager.
  • Youre dealing with major stressors like low income or unemployment.
  • Youre a victim of domestic abuse.

That said, pregnancy depression can affect any woman not just those deemed high-risk. Your provider may opt to screen you for depression during your pregnancy. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends screening women at least once for depression and anxiety either shortly before or after birth, so some providers might not screen during pregnancy.

That means that you should still let your provider know if you start to notice signs of possible depression whether they ask about your mood or not.

From the What to Expect editorial team and Heidi Murkoff, author of What to Expect When You’re Expecting. What to Expect follows strict reporting guidelines and uses only credible sources, such as peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions and highly respected health organizations. Learn how we keep our content accurate and up-to-date by reading our medical review and editorial policy.

What Are The Symptoms Of Antenatal Depression

“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
  • feel irritable and dont want to be with other people
  • feel restless and agitated
  • 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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Diagnosis Of Prenatal Depression

It may be diagnosed through different screening measures, including the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale and the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-5 . It can also be diagnosed through the expert evaluation of a mental health clinician.

Depression during pregnancy is not uncommon. One out of every seven to 10 pregnant women develop a depressive disorder. Pregnant people should be screened for anxiety and depression during prenatal visits, but arent always.

The DSM classifies prenatal depression as major depressive disorder and then specifies if the depression is in the peripartum period or not.

So some people may receive a diagnosis of major depressive disorder with “peripartum onset.” Based on their symptoms, others may be diagnosed with an adjustment disorder with depressive symptoms.

In some cases, a person might receive a diagnosis of adjustment disorder with anxiety. Many women with prenatal depression also experience symptoms of anxiety. In fact, one study found that nearly two-thirds of women with peripartum depression also had an anxiety disorder.

If youre experiencing symptoms or if you notice a partner experiencing symptoms, notify your doctor right away. Once you have a diagnosis, you can work with your doctor and a mental health professional to determine the best possible treatment plan.

What Causes Postpartum Depression

Research Finds Postpartum Depression Symptoms May Begin Before Giving Birth

More research is needed to determine the link between the rapid drop in hormones after delivery and depression. The levels of estrogen and progesterone increase tenfold during pregnancy but drop sharply after delivery. By three days postpartum, levels of these hormones drop back to pre-pregnancy levels.

In addition to these chemical changes, the social and psychological changes associated with having a baby increase your risk of postpartum depression. Examples of these changes include physical changes to your body, lack of sleep, worries about parenting or changes to your relationships.

If you’ve had any of the following symptoms, please notify your healthcare provider right away.

  • Thoughts of harming yourself or your baby.
  • Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide.
  • Depressed mood for most of the day, nearly every day for the last two weeks.
  • Feeling anxious, guilty, hopeless, scared, panicked or worthless.
  • Difï¬culty thinking, concentrating, making decisions or dealing with everyday situations.
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in most activities nearly every day for the last two weeks.

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Can Pregnancy Cause Depression

Answering conclusively if pregnancy causes depression requires extensive research involving many study participants who have experienced depression before, during and after pregnancy. This type of research is difficult to conduct and receive adequate funding. Thus, the direct causes of depression during pregnancy are not completely clear.

Symptoms Of Peripartum Depression

Symptoms of Peripartum Depression include:5

  • Feeling sad or having a depressed mood
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in activities once enjoyed
  • Changes in appetite
  • Difficulty thinking, concentrating, or making decisions
  • Thoughts of death or suicide
  • Crying for no reason
  • Lack of interest in the baby, not feeling bonded to the baby, or feeling very anxious about/around the baby
  • Feelings of being a bad mother
  • Fear of harming the baby or oneself

A woman experiencing peripartum depression usually has several of these symptoms, and the symptoms and their severity may change. These symptoms may cause new mothers to feel isolated, guilty, or ashamed. To be diagnosed with peripartum depression, symptoms must begin during pregnancy or within four weeks following delivery.

Many women with peripartum depression also experience symptoms of anxiety. One study found that nearly two-thirds of women with peripartum depression also had an anxiety disorder.6

While there is no specific diagnostic test for peripartum depression, it is a real illness that should be taken seriously. Any pregnant woman or new mother who experiences the symptoms of peripartum depression should seek evaluation by a medical professional an internal medicine doctor or an OB-GYN, who can make referrals to a psychiatrist or other mental health professional. Assessment should include a psychiatric evaluation and a medical evaluation to rule out physical problems that may have symptoms similar to depression .

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What’s The Difference Between The ‘baby Blues’ And Postnatal Depression

The ‘baby blues’ is a brief period of low mood, feeling emotional and tearful around three to 10 days after you give birth. You are likely to be coping with lots of new demands and getting little sleep, so it is natural to feel emotional and overwhelmed. This feeling usually only lasts for a few days and is generally quite manageable. Postnatal depression is a much deeper and longer-term depression. This usually develops within six weeks of giving birth and it can be gradual or sudden. It can range from being mild to very severe.

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