Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Depression in pregnant women and mothers: How it affects you and your child

Depression is an illness that affects the way people think, act and feel. About 6% of women experience depression at some point in their lives. This number increases to about 10% (1 in 10) for women who are pregnant.
Women are more at risk of depression during pregnancy, and during the weeks and months after having a baby. During pregnancy, hormonal changes can affect brain chemicals and cause depression and anxiety. Some pregnant women do not realize they are depressed. They may think you have symptoms of pregnancy or the "baby blues" that many women experience immediately after birth.
It is also important to know that up to 10% of parents also suffer postpartum depression after the birth of a child.

The good news is that depression is treatable. Read the signs listed below, and consult your doctor if you have any of them. Let your partner and family members know the signs so that they too can be aware.

If you do not receive help, depression can cause problems for you and your baby or child.
What are the symptoms of depression?

Depression can come on slowly. The symptoms are different for each person. They can be mild, moderate or severe. Some of the most common symptoms are:

Changes in appetite: eating too much or have little interest in food, Sleep changes, such as difficulty sleeping or oversleeping, lack of energy, feelings of sadness, hopelessness or worthlessness, mourn for no reason, and loss of interest or pleasure in activities you normally enjoy.

New mothers with depression may have trouble caring for your baby. You may not want to spend time with your baby, which can lead to a baby who cries a lot.
How does depression affect pregnant women?
If you have depression during pregnancy, you may have trouble taking care of himself. Depression during pregnancy can also lead to:
Delivery before the due date (premature)
Giving birth to a small baby (low birth weight).

If depression during pregnancy is not treated, it can lead to postpartum depression. Postpartum depression is a serious condition that can last for months after giving birth. It can affect your health and how well you bond with your baby.

Can you cure depression?
With treatment, most people recover from depression. Treatment may include one or more of the following:

Medications: Medications commonly used to treat depression are SSRIs (selective inhibitors of serotonin reuptake inhibitors) and tricyclic antidepressants.

Individual Therapy: Talking one-on-one with a psychologist, psychiatrist, social worker or other professional.

Family therapy: With your partner and / or children. This can help children are older.

Social support: community or parent education services.