There’s a lot of talk about postpartum depression, and with good reason. Some estimates suggest that as many as a third of all women experience some degree or another of postpartum depression. When postpartum depression is especially severe, it can interfere with infant bonding, cause relationship problems with your spouse and even lead to health problems for both you and your baby.
What’s not talked about as much is depression during pregnancy. The fact of the matter is that pregnancy is a time of rapidly shifting emotions. The physical changes your body is going through, combined with the way that your hormone levels shift throughout pregnancy, can lead to various mood swings. Sometimes, though, a woman will find herself pregnant and terribly depressed.
It’s important, if you’re feeling depressed during pregnancy, to get help. You can start by talking to a friend or counselor. If that kind of approach doesn’t seem to make any difference, you might consider talking to a trained therapist or a psychiatrist.
Treating depression during pregnancy is much different than treating depression when you’re not pregnant. For one thing, many of the medications used to treat depression either haven’t been tested for use by pregnant women, or they’re not considered safe to be used by pregnant women.
What this means is that your depression treatment will likely have to rely on other forms of help. You might need more regular therapy sessions, for example. The important thing is that you don’t just ignore your depression during pregnancy, that you do what you need to do in order to get help.
If left untreated, depression during pregnancy can be a huge problem. It can cause a strain on your relationship with your partner. It can lead to a lack of enjoyment for your normal everyday activities. Your overall health can suffer. In extreme cases, depression during pregnancy can even lead to thoughts of suicide.
Don’t let depression steal the joy of pregnancy away from you. If you believe you’re experiencing depression during pregnancy, call your mental health care provider today.