Symptoms of Depression During Pregnancy

Depression during pregnancy is also termed as ante partum depression. This is a mental condition that can seriously affect not just your mood but your thought process as well as your entire body. Depression bouts during pregnancy are often dismissed as temporary mood swings, but if you have been feeling low or cranky a lot, there is no harm in talking to your doctor about it because your emotional stability is as critical to your baby’s growth as your physical health.

Research indicates that women who are depressed during pregnancy tend to deliver prematurely. So, it is important to identify signs of depression during pregnancy and treat them on time to avoid complications to the mother and the baby.


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Symptoms of Depression During Pregnancy

A few signs of depression during pregnancy include constant fatigue or trouble sleeping. While these symptoms coincide with regular pregnancy signs, when these are combined with a sense of worthlessness of hopelessness or constant sorrow, it is definitely the onset of depression.

If during your pregnancy you are constantly feeling sad and anxious, and it is affecting your ability to perform routine tasks and functions, it is best to talk to your doctor about it. A few other symptoms include loss of interest in previously enjoyable activities, change in sleep pattern and eating habits, and repetitive thoughts of death and suicide.

If you feel any of the above mentioned for over a week, consult your doctor.

Causes of Depression During Pregnancy

Mostly, depression can be brought on by anything, sometimes it's just a result of hormones acting up. And while it is hard to pinpoint definite causes of depression, there could be a few factors that could contribute to depression during pregnancy. These include

  1. History of depression in the family or in your past.

  2. If you are in a troubled relationship, then it could add to the stress of pregnancy. It is best to get counseling in such cases to resolve differences before the baby is born.
  3. If you are finally pregnant after trying various fertility processes and trying for too long, then all the years of waiting plus the anxiousness of being pregnant could add considerable strain on your emotions.
  4. If you are pregnant after one or more miscarriages, it could put you at risk of depression, as you will be constantly worried about the health of your unborn baby. Similarly, complications in a pregnancy could also lead to depression.
  5. Not just pregnancy related stress, but if you have other complications like finances, mortgage, unemployment, etc. to worry about, then this too could affect your emotional stability and increase the risk of depression.
  6. Lastly, research indicates that women who have faced abuse in the past or are going through abuse (be it emotional, physical, or sexual) suffer from self-esteem issues, and their constant sense of helplessness could trigger depression, particularly when they're pregnant.
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