Although pregnancy depression has always existed, it is only in recent years that it has been acknowledged as a medical problem, and that women have been allowed to talk about it without shame. Many women will suffer from some level of depression during their pregnancy. In some, it can become a very serious problem.
If signs of depression are ruining what should be a happy and wonderful time in your life, do not hesitate to talk to your doctor. Help is available, and keeping yourself happy and mentally healthy is just as important to your baby as your physical well-being.
There are some major risk factors that may predispose a woman to depression. When deciding when to get pregnant, it's a good idea to avoid very stressful times in your life, such as financial problems, major life changes, and relationship issues. These can all be risk factors for depression. Other common risk factors in pregnant women are a history of infertility, previous miscarriages, and a history of depression prior to pregnancy.
From the time you experience the first signs of being pregnant, you may also see some signs of depression. It can occur at any point in your pregnancy. As hormones fluctuate throughout the three pregnancy stages, depression may come and go.
Symptoms of depression include feelings of sadness or hopelessness, extreme fatigue, changes in sleeping and eating patterns, long periods of crying, irritability or moodiness, and difficulty concentrating. If any of these symptoms sound familiar to you, it is possible you are suffering from pregnancy depression and not just normal pregnancy mood swings.
Remember, getting help is the best thing you can do for yourself and your baby.