Many women suffer from pregnancy depression. Recent research shows that pregnancy hormones don't protect a woman from depression. In fact, a sudden rise in hormonal levels can trigger depression. This is why pregnancy depression is not as rare as you many think. Many women go through the same, but they are often undiagnosed because they don't always seek professional help or they believe the mood swings, anxiety and depression they experience are a normal part of pregnancy.
Who is at Risk?
All women can develop pregnancy depression, but there are some risk factors you might want to consider:
- History of depression: If you have a personal or family history of depression, you're more likely to become depressed in pregnancy.
- Problems with your pregnancy or previous pregnancies. If you experience problems in your current pregnancy or if you've had problems in your previous pregnancies, it's more likely that you'll become depressed.
- Stress. Stressful events can trigger depression. It can be anything from death in the family, financial issues or problems in your relationship.
- Other factors. Some of the other risk factors include: past history of abuse, being of a young age, being single, having an unplanned pregnancy or getting pregnant after a lot of trying or after a fertility treatment.
If you suspect you might be depressed, it's important to accept it and work towards solving this problem. You may even take a pregnancy depression test online to see where you stand, but note that these tests are made for orientation only and can't be taken as a real diagnosis or a medical opinion. It's important to talk to someone about the way you feel. It can be a doctor or someone close to you, such as your partner or a friend. It's important to get some help or a treatment to feel better. Remember: you deserve better than to feel depressed during pregnancy.
After Pregnancy Depression
After pregnancy depression is called postpartum depression and it's triggered by sudden hormonal changes. After you give birth, your hormone levels get back to normal very quickly, which can lead to depression. This condition is somewhat common and it's not surprising. It's also estimated that about half of women who suffer from pregnancy depression will experience postpartum depression.
There are also some other factors which can lead to postpartum depression, such as difficult childbirth, feeling tired after delivery, lack of sleep, stress from changes in your daily routine because of the baby and more. One of the common complaints is doubting your mothering skills or having unusually high expectations of being a good mother.
Just like depression during pregnancy, postpartum depression is treatable. You should seek medical help if these feelings stay for too long, but you should always have a support network that will help you go through this difficult time. Your partner, family members and friends should be there for you. They can help you with the baby and they can support you. It's important for you to feel you have someone to trust. Another important thing is to always find some time for yourself, no matter how short it may be. This is a very good way of fighting against pregnancy depression and postpartum depression.