Tuesday, January 8, 2013

How to Know if Depress During and After Pregnancy

Depression is actually the most common complication during and after pregnancy although exact number of women that suffers from this is unknown.  Perinatal depression, it is the depression that occurs during pregnancy or within a year after delivery.

You may not recognize depression because some normal pregnancy changes cause similar symptoms and are happening at the same time that is exactly why it was not treated.  Tiredness, problems sleeping, stronger emotional reactions, and changes in body weight may occur during pregnancy and after pregnancy and these are also symptoms of depression.  For a lot of women, joyfully anticipated pregnancy and motherhood bring depression as an unexpected accompaniment.  Depression is not only risky for mothers but for their children as well.  During pregnancy, depression may result in poor prenatal care, premature delivery, low birth weight, and, just possibly, depression in the child.  Depression after childbirth aka postpartum depression can lead to child neglect, family breakdown, and suicide.  A depressed mother may fail to bond emotionally with her newborn, raising the child’s risk of later cognitive delays and emotional and behavior problems.

If the depression is detected soon enough, help is available for mother and child.

Signs of depression during pregnancy:

History of depression or substance abuse
Family history of mental illness
Little support from family and friends
Anxiety about the fetus
Problems with previous pregnancy or birth
Marital or financial problems
Young age (of mother)
Signs of postpartum depression or after giving birth:

Feeling restless or irritable
Feeling sad, hopeless, and overwhelmed
Crying a lot
Having no energy or motivation
Eating too little or too much
Sleeping too little or too much
Trouble focusing, remembering, or making decisions
Feeling worthless and guilty
Loss of interest or pleasure in activities
Withdrawal from friends and family
Having headaches, chest pains, heart palpitations (the heart beating fast and feeling like it is skipping beats), or hyperventilation (fast and shallow breathing)
After pregnancy, signs of depression may also include being afraid of hurting the baby or oneself and not having any interest in the baby.
Postpartum psychosis (seye-KOH-suhss) is rare and is need to be treated by the doctor.  It occurs in about 1 to 4 out of every 1,000 births.  It usually begins in the first 2 weeks after childbirth.  Women who have bipolar disorder or another mental health problem called schizoaffective (SKIT-soh-uh-FEK-tiv) disorder have a higher risk for postpartum psychosis. Symptoms include:

Seeing things that aren’t there
Feeling confused
Having rapid mood swings
Trying to hurt yourself or your baby

The problem with some women is that they do not tell anyone about their condition because they embarrassed, ashamed, or guilty about feeling depressed when they are supposed to be happy.  They may think that they will be judge as unfit parents, bad and not together mom but this can happen to any mothers.  Remember that your child is also at risk.  Seek for help.


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