Depression is never a good news for any individual of any age. And when it comes to a pregnant woman, it is advisable that she stays careful and tries to brush off any energy that seems to drive her towards negativity and sadness. Having anxiety during this phase is common as the body goes through various changes that might affect the baby. The stress cannot reach the baby via placenta but the hormones produced in the mother’s body owing to depression and anxiety are accessible to the growing fetus. Hence, it is advised for the pregnant ladies to remain happy and cheerful.
Let us have a brief look into the signs of depression:
Lack of energy
Disturbed sleep pattern
Crying mode on with unexplained reason
Fluctuations in eating pattern/habits
Fear and anxiety
How does it affect the baby?
Depression if not treated on time, leads to the following conditions:
Premature Birth- There is a possibility that the baby is born before the scheduled time, say before 37 weeks of pregnancy.
Low weight- Since the baby couldn’t develop inside the mother’s womb completely and got delivered early, there happens to be a low body weight associated with his birth.
It affects the behavior of the baby as well. The baby would remain irritated and without calmness.
There is a possibility that the child might experience learning disability and other developmental problems at the later stages of life.
The baby might not remain in a happy and jovial mood.
The baby later on finds difficult in socializing with the people around.
His level of activeness might be reduced.
Effect on the Mother:
If the depression is untreated, it might risk her health and at times her life too.
The mother might develop certain health issues, she may undergo nervous breakdown and other neurological conditions.
The anxiety in her body causes her to release certain hormones that cause early delivery.
Post Pregnancy, she might undergo severe postpartum depression. If this is untreated, then it might lead to suicidal activity too.
Treatment options for pregnant women:
Depression can be cured, the recovery time might depend on the level it has attained.
Certain medications are advised under the guidance of the doctor who can examine you timely and treat accordingly.
Psychotherapy and other support groups might prove beneficial.
Some methods other than medications to overcome depression:
Exercise: A light exercise would be helpful.
Maintain good sleeping pattern: Sleep is very important for the body to recover and repair any damage that has taken birth.
Adequate Eating Habit: Eat healthy food, remain hydrated. Diets rich in caffeine, sugar should be avoided.
Recent study has shown that Omega-3 can help to reduce depression. Pregnant woman may consume fish oil after consulting the doctor, I read it somewhere that during this phase it should be mercury free version of fish oil.
It is also important to be in conversation with any of your family member if you are going through this depressive phase, provided the person is ready to listen to you, converse with you. Try to think positive, engage in activities that make you feel good and happy. Try to surround yourself with people who motivate you. All these will help you to come back to the normal state soon!!
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