Just about every woman you speak with will tell you of some strange feelings she had during her pregnancy. Most of these types of things are simply due to the normal hormonal upheaval one's body goes through during pregnancy. The intense excitement you feel at the prospect of being a new Mom leaves little room for doubt that the entire processing will be rewarding and filled with anticipation. And yet there are a few women who undergo stress and difficulties during their pregnancy which can lead to pregnancy depression.
To be observant of depression signs in a pregnant woman, one has to look very carefully. Many symptoms, that would otherwise be suspicious, can be considered normal for the average new mom to be. Still, if any symptom is ling lasting or shows worsening behavior, someone should see to it that professional help m intervenes. Some of the things to look for include hyperactivity, emotional outbursts, or changes in eating and sleeping habits. Some of these may be considered nothing to worry about, but it should be a professional that makes that decision. However, if there is a suspicion of drug and alcohol abuse, it is imperative that the individual get help without hesitation. These activities cannot only harm the mother, but can cause serious and lasting harm to the unborn infant.
A primary care doctor should always be prepared to work along with a psychotherapist. Treatment of pregnancy depression can be risky at best. The use of antidepressants during pregnancy can harm an unborn child so it has to be determined if the depression is better left untreated or not. If the depression is severe enough, it can lead to serious side effects on the newborn infant such as slow response and irritability. It can even shorten the gestation period. So the risks of treatment have to be weighed very carefully. Psychotherapy alone can often be enough to get a mother through her pregnancy.
If depression persists after pregnancy, or is found to be an event occurring only during pregnancy, there is still no reason why a woman cannot have repetitive and successful pregnancies. If the depression is so severe that the woman cannot function without her medication, the she needs to be seen by her obstetrician and psychotherapist. It should be in the hands of the professionals as to which way to proceed and which benefits outweigh the risks. If it is felt that depression can be tolerated throughout the pregnancy, then the woman is usually advised to stop her medications about six months prior to becoming pregnant. This is often the case with mild to moderate depression.
It is always best that clinical depression be discussed with ones physician. The doctor, who knows your case best, will take into consideration all aspects of your depression. All critical issues will be examined. So, with all the precautions set carefully in place you can have a happy and healthy pregnancy.
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