When depression strikes, regardless of gender, age, or social status, it will hit hard and bad.
For the majority of expectant mothers, old and new, having a child is equivalent to a prayer answered; the thought that after a couple of months, they will be able to hold their newborn and marvel at the miraculous sight give soon-to-be moms the unequaled feeling of pride and joy. However, not everyone feels that way at one point in their pregnancy stage. Some women feel stressed, confused, anxious, and depressed upon seeing the two mocking lines on the strip.
You Are Not Alone
To think that you’re the only one who suffers depression is a misconception. A study made by the World Health Organization (WHO) presented the following data:
- Worldwide, 10% of women who are pregnant and 13% of those who just gave birth suffer from a particular mental disorder, mainly depression.
- Compared to the abovementioned percentage, the number of maternal mental illness rises in progressing countries having 15.6% for pregnant women and almost 20% after the birth of the child.
Furthermore, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) have stated that there will be about 14% to 23% of pregnant women who will suffer from depression.
One out of four women will struggle with depression at one point in their lives,and pregnant women are not exempted from those numbers. Therefore, it should not come as a surprise that you will encounter women who will admit that they experienced the feeling of extreme sadnesseither before, during, or after pregnancy.
When Depression Becomes Dangerous
Even with the figures, depression that occurs during pregnancy is not appropriately diagnosed and treated due to the notion that the emotional breakdown is part of the process since pregnant women are prone to hormonal imbalance. This sort of assumption is detrimental to the health of the mom and the fetus or the newborn baby.
Untreated depression during pregnancy can contribute to potential risks not only to the mother but also the baby because if ignored, the mood disorder can cause:
- Poor nutrition
- Drinking or alcoholism
- Suicidal tendencies
- Premature birth
Babies who were delivered prematurely will have a compromised immune system, low birth weight, and experience developmental issues.
Know this: Depression is almost always the same regardless of who has it; therefore, a mother who is depressed will not be capable of adequately nurturing herself or the baby since she does not have the desire or strength to do so.On the other hand, babies who have depressed moms will manifest lethargy, short attention span,and irritability. For this reason, depression caught at an early stage should be addressed immediately.
How do you know that you are gradually giving into depression? Here are some common signs and symptoms of depression in pregnancy:
- Incessant sadness
- Recurring suicidal ideations and death
- Feeling of unrelenting hopelessness
- Unable to concentrate
- Sleeping problems (either too much or too little)
- Sense of worthlessness
- Deterioration of interest with activities that once were enjoyed
- Alteration in eating pattern
Depression can be triggered at any point in a woman’s life. Unbeknownst to the mother, some underlying reason has caused the feeling of sadness to be a full-blown mood disorder. From relationship issues to genetic disposition, to life stressors, depression could be a lot of things. Therefore, if you feel that the manifestations stated above persist for two weeks or more, it’s high time to see a psychologist.