- Signs and symptoms of depression
There are two sorts of depression - meloncholic and atypical. If you've lost your appetite, can't sleep, and continually feel negative and anxious about your pregnancy, you may be suffering from meloncholic depression. If you're eating ravenously, sleeping constantly, gaining excessive weight and lack motivation or interest in your pregnancy, you may be suffering from atypical depression.
- Sadness or grieving is not depression
Depression isn't defined by a week or two of feeling sad or low due to life circumstances, it's an ongoing state of brain exhaustion that leaves you unable to enjoy life, your pregnancy or even muster up the emotions to care. Traumatic events or death sometimes serve as a trigger for depression, but this isn't always the case.
- Depression during pregnancy is relatively rare
Even women who're high-risk for depression otherwise, tend to see a decrease in their depressive symptoms thanks to increased levels of estrodial and estrogen that stimulate brain production of seratonin and dopamine, two of the main happiness and pleasure neurotransmitters.
- Risk factors for pregnancy depression
Single mothers-to-be are at higher risk for depression during and after pregnancy, as are women with pre-existing health issues, financial problems, past trauma, abuse, neglect or other unresolved emotional issues and/or little to no social support from family and friends.
- Depression risks long-term damage in and out of the womb
Research repeatedly shows that children carried by depressed women are at a higher risk for learning and behavioral delays and disorders throughout their childhood, as well as diabetes (depression and insulin uptake are inter-connected) and mood disorders. The same holds for children born to women who develop post-partum depression.
- If you think you're suffering from depression
It is critical you seek help now. Talk with your caregiver and attempt to actively combat the symtoms you're experiencing. Therapy, exercise, meditation, yoga, journaling, more time outside and more time with supportive family and friends are all recommended for combatting depression. If none of these help, schedule a meeting with a psychiatrist to see about potential medications for treatment.