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There is an important myth that surrounds pregnant women and is the one that says they are very happy because they will bring a new life to the world. This cannot be less true since pregnant women are as vulnerable to depression as any human being. In fact, they are more prone due to the hormonal change to which they are exposed. This is why many pregnant women suffer from depression and anxiety, even if they are not able to admit it.
It is difficult to identify these types of diseases during pregnancy due to the nature of this. However, if you feel that something is not right, pay attention to symptoms such as guilt, feeling that you are worthless, feeling depressed or wanting for more than two weeks, low energy and low concentration, as these are clear signs of depression.
As for anxiety, heavy heart palpitations, cold sweat, irritability, and muscle aches are usually some of its general symptoms. Because they can be confused with any consequence of pregnancy, it is best to go to an expert and get general checkups.
Risk Factors for Anxiety and Depression
- Anyone can experience depression or anxiety during pregnancy, but women with these risk factors are especially susceptible:
- A personal or family history of a mood disorder, such as depression or anxiety
- A history of premenstrual dysphonic disorder (PMDD)
- Being a young mother (under the age of 20)
- Having poor social support
- Living alone
- Experiencing marital conflict
- Being divorced, widowed, or separated
- Having experienced traumatic or stressful events in the past year
- Feeling ambivalent about being pregnant
- Pregnancy complications
- Having a low income
- Having more than three children
How to Manage Depression and Anxiety in Pregnancy
Once we accept that this is possible, it is important to understand that it is necessary to seek professional help. There are always natural options, such as yoga (for pregnant women, in this case) and foods rich in omega-3, which can help you a lot. However, talking to someone who has knowledge about the subject can help you be more guided and feel much better.
Your gynecologist-obstetrician may be able to help you in this situation, either by treating you or by sending you to a psychiatrist who can give you the correct treatment that does not affect the baby’s gestation. Your midwife should also be trained to help you find a solution.
Depression and anxiety during pregnancy are serious problems because, in addition to your mood and health, can significantly harm the baby. In addition, you have more opportunity to live postpartum depression and have a hard start as a mom.
We believe that not only the physical health of the pregnant woman is important, but that all of it is important. Your mental health should also be part of constant vigilance and care. Depression can lead to very dark parts of our mind and no mom wants that for the beginning of her new baby’s life. If this is your case, seek help!
If you’re under unusual stress or feel like you’re at your breaking point, ask your healthcare provider to refer you to a therapist, who can better assess how strong your anxiety has become and what you may need to do to feel better. Listen openly to what she has to say. Getting help during pregnancy will protect you and your baby from unnecessary risks and reduce your chances of postpartum anxiety and depression.