Depression during pregnancy

What is Depression During Pregnancy?

Pregnant women should not only take good care of their physical health, but also their mental health, especially depression during pregnancy.  According to a survey by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), 14% to 23% of women experienced depression symptoms during pregnancy. Symptoms of depression are sometimes mistaken for physiological changes that go unnoticed. If depression is not properly treated, it may affect pregnant women and fetuses. Therefore, if pregnant women have symptoms suspected of depression, they should seek medical help immediately.


Depression during pregnancy

Depression during pregnancy is an emotional disorder caused by hormonal changes that affect neurotransmitters in the brain. This causes the patient to suffer from depression or anxiety, which can be exacerbated by difficulties encountered in life.


Causes of depression during pregnancy

Pregnant women have depression during pregnancy, the reasons include the following 8 kinds, sometimes not just a single reason:


    1. Stress in life (work, finances, life encounters, etc.).
    2. There is a problem with interpersonal relationships, or there is no one around who can help in a timely manner.
    3. Family or personal history of depression.
    4. Poor sleep quality causes fatigue.
    5. Medical conditions (hypothyroidism, nausea or vomiting during pregnancy, etc.).
    6. Been abused, traumatized, or had a miscarriage.
    7. Pregnant women feel conflicted or unhappy about their pregnancy.
    8. Lack of exercise, or being physically active.


Depression during pregnancy


Symptoms of depression during pregnancy

When pregnant women suffer from depression, they may have the following symptoms for 2 weeks or more:


    1. Constantly feeling sad.
    2. Not interested in things you usually like.
    3. Anxiety, guilt, feeling useless.
    4. It’s hard to focus.
    5. Sleep time is too short or too long.
    6. Recurring thoughts of death, suicide, or hopelessness.


Effects of pregnancy depression

Untreated pregnant women with depression can affect themselves and their babies:


    1. Depression can affect a woman’s ability to take care of herself during pregnancy, and she is less likely to follow her doctor’s instructions wholeheartedly.
    2. May increase a pregnant woman’s risk of using some harmful substances, such as cigarettes, alcohol, or other illegal drugs.
    3. Pregnant women tend to eat poorly, lose weight, or have sleep problems.
    4. Pregnant women with depression will have higher prenatal stress hormones: cortisol (also known as cortisol), which may lead to premature birth and lower birth weight in pregnant women.
    5. Pregnant women with depression also give birth to babies with higher levels of stress hormones, which may make babies more responsive to stress and harder to care for or comfort.


Fighting pregnancy depression

Depression during pregnancy can be treated in different ways, such as joining a mutual aid society, individual psychotherapy, or medication. However, studies have shown that drugs such as antidepressants may have negative effects on the fetus, such as fetal malformation, heart disease, pulmonary hypertension, etc., so drug treatment needs to be evaluated by a physician.

If the depression is more severe, such as a pregnant woman with suicidal thoughts, or it is so severe that it affects the ability to take care of oneself, such as eating, seeing a doctor, etc., then it is usually recommended to combine medication with psychotherapy. Other treatments include the following:


    1. Light therapy: exposure to professional artificial light sources.
    2. Yoga, Meditation: A mix of gentle yoga poses, meditative activities, and group discussions to help pregnant women feel at ease.
    3. Acupuncture.
    4. Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation: A magnetic coil placed on the scalp stimulates nerve cells in the brain that control emotions.

In addition, pregnant women can also try other natural ways to fight depression:


    1. Don’t try to do everything well: cut back on some chores and do activities that relax you.
    2. Exercise: Exercise increases serotonin levels and decreases cortisol production.
    3. Get enough rest: develop good sleep habits, go to bed and wake up at regular times as much as possible.
    4. Maintain blood sugar stability: Supplement protein (nuts, meat, fish, etc.), good fats (such as avocado) every few hours, keep meals regularly, and avoid carbohydrates (flour, rice, sugar).
    5. Supplement with Omega-3 fatty acids: Studies have shown that taking a daily supplement containing Omega-3 fatty acids or fish oil can help reduce symptoms of depression.
    6. Get in touch with nature more: Going out to breathe fresh air for 15 minutes a day can help overcome Nature Deficit Disorder (slowness, inattention, bipolar disorder and some mental illnesses caused by humans being alienated from nature), and improve mood. get better. You can try brisk walking, breathing fresh air, and exercising at the same time, which can improve your mood and sleep quality.


Depression during pregnancy

Suicide does not solve the problem, but it leaves great grief for the family. Please cherish life and give yourself another chance.

Organization to Prevent Suicide

Grass Roots Suicide Prevention

Hub of Hope

National Suicide Prevention Alliance



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Depression in pregnancy – NHS

Untreated Depression During Pregnancy and Its Effect on Pregnancy Outcomes

Depression during pregnancy


Books For Depression During Pregancy

Anxiety and Depression During Pregnancy

This book is a hands-on guide for facilitating treatment of anxiety and depression during pregnancy and the postpartum period. Readers will learn about why anxiety and related difficulties can increase during pregnancy and the postpartum period, the critical roles that thoughts and behaviors play in maintaining symptoms, and how to apply practical cognitive and behavioral…

Expecting Mindfully

Unlike other mindfulness resources for moms and moms-to-be, this compassionate book is grounded in mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, a proven program. The authors are leading experts on the emotional challenges of pregnancy and early parenting–and how to overcome them. Guided meditations and gentle yoga practices help you build crucial skills to prevent

Pregnancy Blue

It should be a time of joyous anticipation-the happiest time in a woman’s life. But for many women, the joys of pregnancy are clouded by feelings of fear, sadness, and confusion. And unlike postpartum depression, which is widely portrayed in the media and embraced by the medical community, depression during pregnancy has been rarely discussed and often…

Supplement For Pregnancy

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