Unhappy to find your pregnancy test positive? Well if yes, you don’t need to feel guilty about it. You are not the only one feeling dejected to hear the news of your pregnancy. One out of ten women suffer from anxiety and depression at the beginning of this new chapter in their lives.
Feeling sad during pregnancy is not something unusual for women. There are several factors which cause depression and anxiety in pregnant women. For mostly there is a societal pressure when you have to behave up to the expectations of your friends and family members even if you are feeling down inside. The good news is that pregnancy depression can be treated with the right help in the form of proper counselling or sometimes medication.
Why Do You Feel Sad During Pregnancy?
Hormonal changes start right from the beginning of pregnancy. It is an important process for a healthy mother and child. Hormonal fluctuations have their effects physically as well as mentally on women. The pregnancy hormones like estrogen, progesterone, oxytocin, prolactin, endorphins prepare the environment for women to give birth. Women who sometimes undergo mood swings and depression are due to the increased activity of these hormones inside their bodies during pregnancy.
Stressful Life Events
If you are feeling sad during pregnancy, you might have a history of depression as well. Sometimes unpleasant life events make you a patient of depression or anxiety. If you have been through some very unpleasant times in your past which had disturbed you strongly, you might deteriorate mentally in your pregnancy.
Depression may run in the family. If someone in your family goes through episodes of severe depression, you might also be vulnerable to this.
If you had a hard time in conceiving your baby or you went through miscarriages in the past, you might feel gloomy at the fear of losing your baby again. Sometimes you pregnancy is sensitive or your doctor will recommend you to be extremely careful because of certain complications. You are too cautious and as the time of delivery approaches, your worries and fears drag you into mental depression.
Handling pregnancy at a very young age can be challenging. Younger women tend to get easily frustrated and depressed at this difficult stage of their lives.
Victim of Physical or Mental Abuse
Women who have been through any kinds of physical abuse in their past, are susceptible to depression in this sensitive period of their lives. Overwhelmed by fear and helplessness, they suffer from prolonged phase of depression.
Variations in thyroid hormones can also lead you to feel sad during pregnancy. It should be spotted with a thyroid test and treated accordingly.
Financial worries are one of the very important factors of depression. Women in serious monetary crisis may go in a phase of depression. It is natural for a mother to be to get concerned about the needs and requirements for an additional member of her family.
Morning sickness, nausea, pelvic pain are natural in pregnancy. Sometimes this uneasiness also becomes the reason of your depression.
Complication in Previous Pregnancy or Birth
Women who had complications or had difficulty in previous pregnancies also face the trauma of experiencing the same difficulty and pain again.
What Can You Do to Treat Depression During Pregnancy?
Treating Depression Psychologically
Psychological treatment is the most possible option that you would be recommended. Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) is a therapy in which you share or talk through your problems or the things which burden on your mind in a judgement free space. Your GP (general practitioner) will recommend different ways to help you according to your condition.
Physical activity plays a vital role in detoxifying your body and mind. Exercising daily helps you naturally increase serotonin levels and decrease cortisol levels.
Lack of sleep affects your body and mind greatly to deal with your stress. Establish a routine sleep schedule to help you sleep enough and get up at the same time every day.
Nutrition and Diet
Many foods are related with mood changes, the ability to deal with stress and mental function. Avoid foods that can cause problems to your mental and physical health, such as foods high in sugar, caffeine, artificial additives, processed carbohydrates and low protein. Make a plan to fuel your body with foods that can help you reduce stress.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Omega 3 fatty acids are well known to deal with some health issues. Studies show that consuming omega 3 or fish oils daily can help reduce your stress and make you feel better. Pregnant women especially those who feel sad during pregnancy should take a daily supplement of it on a recommended amount by your nutritionist.
When you are feeling sad during pregnancy, try acupuncture. According to the new studies, acupuncture is an effective way to treat depression in pregnant women. Consult your doctors before you try this way.
Consult your healthcare practitioner before you decide to try any herbal remedies. Your doctor can help you weigh the possible benefits against the possible risks to make a right decision for you.
Spend Time with Your family and Friends
Make time to visit your friends and go out together to watch a movie or have a dinner. Intimacy, such as cuddling and landholding, can make you feel closer and improve your mood.
Join a Support Group
Consult your doctor about support groups in your area, so you can talk with other pregnant women about your similar situations. You can also find online groups to make yourself feel better and relax.
In case of prolonged and severe depression, the doctors may recommend antidepressants. Studies are still going on the side effects of antidepressants during pregnancy. But experts say those side effects shouldn't keep pregnant women from taking medications, especially when the risks of untreated depression are greater than taking medications. If you were taking antidepressants before you get pregnant, consult your practitioners to make a decision.