Monday, June 5, 2023

How To Deal With Stress And Depression While Pregnant

What Kind Of Medications Can Help Fight With Depression

Treating Pregnancy Symptoms : How to Cope With Depression & Stress While Pregnant

In cases of severe depression or if alternative treatments do not alleviate depression symptoms, lots of doctor think that antidepressant drugs are the best option to secure the health of mothers and infants. Pregnant women are justifiably concerned about the long-lasting effects of taking medication during pregnancy. Although all medications cross the placenta, retrospective studies have shown that a lot of the significant antidepressants on the marketplace have been used by pregnant women with no known ill effects. Medical professionals are especially comfortable recommending the class of antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors to pregnant women. Proof reveals that the rate of babies with birth defects born to women who took SSRIs during pregnancy is the same as the rate of those who did not. There is similar evidence about tricyclic antidepressants.

Depression During And After Pregnancy Is Common And Treatable

Recent CDC research shows that about 1 in 8 women experience symptoms of postpartum depression. Additionally, a recent analysis by CDCexternal icon found the rate of depression diagnoses at delivery is increasing and it was seven times higher in 2015 than in 2000.

Having a baby is challenging and every woman deserves support. If you are experiencing emotional changes or think that you may be depressed, make an appointment to talk to your health care provider as soon as possible. Most people get better with treatment and getting help is the best thing you can do for you and your baby.

Effective depression treatment can include a combination of medication therapy, counseling, and referrals. is talking to your health care provider. After your visit, make sure to follow-up on all referrals and treatment that he or she suggests. When discussing medications with your provider, let her or him know if you are pregnant, thinking about becoming pregnant, or breastfeeding. You and your provider can decide if taking medicine while pregnant or breastfeeding is right for you. Read Medicine and Pregnancy for more information.

If the situation is potentially life-threatening, call 911.

If you or someone you know is in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention LifelineExternalexternal icon at 1-800-273-TALK for free and confidential crisis counseling available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. TTY: Dial 711 then 1-800-273-8255. Online chatExternalexternal icon is also available 24/7.

Are There Any Natural Treatments

With the controversy regarding the use of some antidepressants during pregnancy, many women are interested in other ways to help treat depression. As mentioned above, support groups, psychotherapy, and light therapy are alternatives to using medication when treating mild to moderate depression.In addition to these, you may want to talk with your health care providers about some of the other natural ways to help relieve the symptoms of depression.

If you do not feel comfortable talking with your health care provider about your feelings of depression, find someone else to talk with. It is important that someone knows what you are dealing with and can try to help you. Never try to face depression alone. Your baby needs you to seek help and get treatment.

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How To Stay Sane While Trying To Get Pregnant

Trying to conceive can be stressful. This is especially true in the Facebook era when it may seem like all your friends of childbearing age are posting pregnancy or baby shots.

To make it worse, people will tell you that the best thing you can do to increase your odds of conceiving is to relax. This leads to getting what’s called meta-cognitive anxiety, or anxiety about your anxiety. You get stressed out when you notice yourself feeling anxious because you’re worried it’s hurting your chances of conceiving.

It’s not easy, but here are some basic tips for staying sane during the process of trying to conceive.

1. Accept that you’re anxious.

When you try to aggressively push anxiety away, it tends to push back harder. This is why accepting that you’re feeling anxious can fast track you to feeling less so.

From an evolutionary perspective, the useful purpose of anxiety is to put us on the lookout for danger. It’s a hypervigilance system. If we could easily shut anxiety off or distract ourselves with positive thoughts, anxiety wouldn’t be as useful.

Your anxiety is reminding you that you’re doing something that’s important to you.

2. Consider limiting how much you read internet sites and forums about pregnancy.

With any form of anxiety, people tend to engage in compulsive checking and reassurance-seeking behaviors.

3. It’s fine to want a second opinion from an RE .

4. Ditch your shame.

5. Understand the psychology behind symptom spotting.

Additional Resources For Dealing With Stress While Pregnant

Stress during pregnancy

For more information about dealing with stress during pregnancy, see the following organizations:

Stress during pregnancy is common, with around 78% of pregnant women reporting low to moderate stress and 6% reporting high levels of stress.1 Pregnancy stress is a concern because it is linked to certain complications and can have negative effects on the unborn baby. Fortunately, you can take action to reduce your stress during pregnancy, which can help prevent these problems and improve your overall well-being.

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How Can Depression During Pregnancy Affect Baby

When left untreated, stress and depression during pregnancy can impact both your and your babys health. Just like depression at other stages of life, prenatal depression can affect how you take care of yourself, which may impact the wellbeing of the fetus. For example, you might not take prenatal vitamins, exercise, eat well or get sufficient medical care.

The condition comes with other health risks for both mom and baby. Women experiencing depression during pregnancy have a higher risk of preeclampsia, gestational diabetes and placental abnormalities, and are more likely to give birth prematurely or to a child with emotional, behavioral or developmental problems. And because prenatal depression increases the risk of postpartum depression, women who have depression during pregnancy may also have trouble bonding with their new baby after the birth.

Ways To Deal With Emotional Stress During Pregnancy

Walk slowly do not bend down eat lots of ghee why dont you try yoga you should have coconut water every day see pictures of beautiful babies eat for two persons etc. etc.and the list goes on and on. Life does not remain the same, for a woman from the moment she discloses the good news to the time, she reaches the hospital for delivery . These enjoinders, though, given in a true and honest spirit, can sometimes create pressure on the expecting mother.

As it is a pregnant woman is battling with a lot of emotional and identity issues at the time! Picture this: a lady typically, as soon as she conceives, is now looked upon as a to-be mother. All the pampering, the extra care, the attention is given to her, as an expectant mother, though welcome, leaves her wondering, “Is that what it is all about, now?”“Am I now just an expectant mother and not an individual?” Add to that the sudden change in behavior and expectations of the people around her, dealing with her own changing body, the nervousness about being a good parent, and last but not the least, thinking what life would be like after the arrival of a new member can leave the pregnant mother, stressed and a bundle of nerves.

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What Is Depression In Pregnancy

Depression during pregnancy, or antepartum depression, is a mood disorder just like clinical depression. Mood disorders are biological illnesses that involve changes in brain chemistry.During pregnancy, hormone changes can affect the chemicals in your brain, which are directly related to depression and anxiety. These can be exacerbated by difficult life situations, which can result in depression during pregnancy.

What Are The Common Pregnancy Fears And Worries

My Story: Depression and Anxiety while pregnant

Pregnancy is a very beautiful phase for most women. At some points in those nine months, it can be an on-top-of-the-world and exciting time, and at others it can plunge you in the depths of gloom and despair. Mood swings are common during pregnancy due to all the hormonal changes that are happening in the body. These hormonal changes, in turn, affect the levels and functioning of the neurotransmitters leaving the pregnant woman exposed to a range of emotions and reactions. Every woman has her own threshold of dealing with anxieties and stresses: for some, it is more difficult to cope with the changes and uncertainties that pregnancy brings, while for others the pain of delivery might be giving them jitters. Some of the common worries, shared with me, by some pregnant women include:

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Not Treating Is Risky

But if the depression is so bad that a pregnant woman is not eating or gaining weight, for instance, then it needs to be treated as aggressively as possible.”

For women at risk for depression during pregnancy — those who have battled major depression in the past or who experienced depression during a previous pregnancy — the news is good: The risk associated with the use of antidepressants during pregnancy is small.

But what should be considered when deciding whether or not to take an antidepressant, or to try other therapies first? And, what research is available to help put an expectant mom’s mind at ease?

“For mild or moderate depression, I’d rather use psychotherapy or group therapy than antidepressants,” says Hendrick, assistant professor in the department of psychiatry and bio-behavioral sciences at UCLA.

But for pregnant women with major depression, the risk of a relapse after stopping antidepressant medication is greater than the risks posed by treating it with medication.

“If health behaviors are not good because of the depression, that could have a negative impact,” says Hendrick. “If a woman is not eating, not sleeping, feeling stressed or anxious — these could have an adverse impact on a developing fetus. And obviously, suicidal feelings are another adverse risk associated with depression.”


Untreated major depression during pregnancy may also cause infants to have an increased sensitivity to stress.

What Are Some Symptoms Of Depression During Pregnancy

Some symptoms of depression, like fatigue or trouble sleeping, can be normal during pregnancy. However, if they are accompanied by negative feelings that inhibit you from being able to function in daily life, you may have depression. You may have depression if you have experienced any of the following symptoms for two weeks or more:

  • Persistent sadness
  • Having headaches, stomach problems or other aches and pains that dont go away
  • Having low energy or extreme fatigue that doesn’t improve with rest

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Here Are Some Things You Can Control On The Journey To Recovery:

Engage in lots of baby cuddles:

Simply holding and stroking the babies nullified the effects of prenatal depression. In particular, the infants of the mothers who held and stroked their babies more showed better emotional and physical health than infants who were not stroked and held as much by their mothers . Infants who had been held and stroked more frequently were less reactive, less fearful, and more on track with their behavioural development.

Attend A Pregnancy Support Group

How to deal with stress during pregnancy?

Pregnancy support groups can provide you with a safe space to share your thoughts with a group of women who may be having similar feelings and experiences. They also allow you to give and receive feedback and advice from others. This can help you realize that your feelings are normal and provide you with different ways of thinking about or approaching a problem. Feeling supported during pregnancy can also help you after your pregnancy is over. One study found that having more support during pregnancy was linked to lower rates of postpartum depression.7

Support groups are usually run by a mental health professional or someone who is trained to run groups. You can attend local in-person groups or support groups online. In-person groups can provide you with an opportunity to connect face-to-face, while online groups can be helpful if you donât have a lot of time, feel anxious about attending in-person, or do not have any groups in your area. Either way, finding a supportive group to speak with can be beneficial.

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What Is Prenatal Depression

Prenatal depression is a mood disorder that affects 10 to 25 percent of expectant women, and research shows it may be becoming even more prevalent. Fluctuations in hormones throughout pregnancy can lead to mood swings, of course, but prenatal depression is more than passing feelings of sadness or stress. Instead, these emotions are persistent, intense and even debilitating.

Prenatal depression can also set new moms up for future mental health complications. Women who are suffering from depression during pregnancy may go on, during pregnancy or after delivery, to have more severe postpartum depression and should be monitored closely, says Amanda Itzkoff, MD, assistant professor of psychiatry at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City.

Aim For At Least 8 Hours Of Sleep Per Night

Sleep is essential for mental well-being, but can be especially challenging during pregnancy. Pregnant womenâs sleep may be interrupted by feeling uncomfortable and frequent trips to the bathroom. Lack of sleep during pregnancy can both cause stress and also be a symptom of stress.8 If you are already feeling stressed, you might find your mind racing when itâs time to go to bed. There are steps you can take to try to improve your sleep, but if you continue to have a hard time, consider discussing this issue with your medical provider or a sleep specialist.

To improve the quality of your sleep, try to practice good sleep hygiene.9 This includes avoiding caffeine, sugar, and large meals before bed, not utilizing electronic devices in the evening hours, and making sure that your bedroom area is cool, dark, and quiet. If you need noise to fall asleep, opt for relaxing sounds or white noise, which are less stimulating than having a television on in the background.

Create a bedtime routine that includes laying down and waking up around the same time each day, including on weekends. Try to exercise earlier in the day, which can help you feel more tired during bedtime. Also, if you are having trouble falling asleep, avoid watching the clock. Instead, practice some deep breathing or mindfulness to help you feel more relaxed.

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Can You Prevent Pregnancy Depression

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends that moms-to-be seek out therapy or counseling to address pregnancy depression preemptively if they have one or more of the following risk factors:

  • Youre currently experiencing signs or symptoms of depression.
  • You have a history of depression or other mental health conditions.
  • Youre partnerless or are a teenager.
  • Youre dealing with major stressors like low income or unemployment.
  • Youre a victim of domestic abuse.

That said, pregnancy depression can affect any woman not just those deemed high-risk. Your provider may opt to screen you for depression during your pregnancy. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends screening women at least once for depression and anxiety either shortly before or after birth, so some providers might not screen during pregnancy.

That means that you should still let your provider know if you start to notice signs of possible depression whether they ask about your mood or not.

From the What to Expect editorial team and Heidi Murkoff, author of What to Expect When You’re Expecting. What to Expect follows strict reporting guidelines and uses only credible sources, such as peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions and highly respected health organizations. Learn how we keep our content accurate and up-to-date by reading our medical review and editorial policy.

What Feelings Can Happen

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Mood swings are normal during pregnancy. But if you feel nervous or down all the time, it could be a sign of something deeper going on. Stress over being pregnant, changes in your body during the pregnancy, and everyday worries can take a toll.

Some pregnant women may have depression or anxiety:

  • Depression is sadness or feeling down or irritable for weeks or months at a time. Some women may have depression before getting pregnant. But it also can start during pregnancy for a number of reasons for example, if a woman isn’t happy about being pregnant or is dealing with a lot of stress at work or at home.
  • Anxiety is a feeling of worry or fear over things that might happen. If you worry a lot anyway, many things can stress you out during pregnancy. You might worry that you won’t be a good mother or that you can’t afford to raise a baby.

Pregnant women may have other mental health issues, such as:

It’s important to treat mental health concerns during pregnancy. Mothers who are depressed, anxious, or have another issue might not get the medical care they need. They might not take care of themselves, or they may use drugs and alcohol during the pregnancy. All of these things can harm a growing baby.

If you have a mental health issue, talk with your doctor so you can get the help you need during and after your pregnancy.

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Pregnancy Can Be Amplifier For Anything Else In Life That You’re Dealing With

Whether that’s relationship issues, in-law issues, work stress, financial pressures because parent will tell you that kids caused way more than you ever thought they possibly could until you have one. But there’s a difference between everyday worrying, this just got punctuated intermittent stress about specific challenges which is very normal and manageable and severely, intense, overwhelming symptoms of anxiety during pregnancy.

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