Antepartum Melancholia: The Struggle You Can’t Easily Shake Off


It feels like an endless downward spiral in a lonely world.


For decades, the healthcare industry has believed hormonal increase due to pregnancy shielded women from mental illnesses such as depression. This idea was further supported by societal assumptions that every woman who is bearing a child should feel overjoyed due to the reality of an upcoming addition to the family. In time, a lot of sectors believed, even the mothers themselves, that depression usually occurs after childbirth; time has proven this conclusion wrong.


Fact is the reason why there are so little evidence or findings of depression during pregnancy is that soon-to-be-moms fail to consider persistent instances of heavyheartedness and instead recognize it as a part of the childbearing process.Furthermore, women who are depressed during pregnancy are more likely to get depression after giving birth.



Antepartum Depression Indications


Though depression may come differently for people, its face and its affectation are almost always the same. However, in antepartum pregnancy, signs and symptoms can be slightly different. Here, pregnant women will experience either mild, moderate to severe fluctuating mood swings and behaviors for two weeks or more. Within that time, she will have episodes of emotional intensity that would significantly interfere with her capacity to take care of herself, the home, and will also get in the way of work.


Some of the usual manifestations of antepartum depression are:


  • Extreme loneliness with episodes of melancholia
  • Crying for continuous, extensive periods of time for no apparent reason
  • Thoughts of guilt
  • Feelings of hopelessness or worthlessness
  • Inadequacy to become a mother
  • Loss of sleep and appetite
  • Withdrawal from family and friends
  • Suicidal inclinations



Failure To Diagnose

Antepartum depression is debilitating and harmful for both mother and child; however, even if its indications are far too palpable, themajority of women who experience the condition disregard and ignore the visible manifestations. This kind of silent behavior is the reason why diagnosis during pregnancy is difficult.


What are the reasons why they neglect their symptoms?


Their melancholia is far from societal beliefs of having an image of what pregnancy is supposed to feel like and look like. Because of this notion, women are ashamed to feel depressed and would instead carry on and pretend like nothing is wrong to the point of breaking down. Moreover, adespondent pregnant woman is uncertain that people around her will understand or believe her.



Contributing Factors



What are the primary factors that contribute to the occurrence of the illness?


  1. Genetic Predisposition

Women who have relatives experiencing depressionmay also develop the risk of becoming a candidate for the illness.


  1. Depressive Background

Women who have struggled with depression during their teenage years or early adulthood can have recurrent depression that can happen once they get pregnant. More so, women who experienced depression during their previous pregnancies might encounter another depressive episode on their next pregnancy.


  1. Unwanted Pregnancy

Unwanted pregnancies are enormous contributing factors for antepartum depression; this can range from teens who got impregnated at an early age and had to make drastic life changes or women who were sexually abused and hadchosen to stick with the pregnancy.


  1. Infertility

Infertility, though rare, can cause pregnancy depression. When a woman who was diagnosed to be infertile finally has the chance to become pregnant, the process increases the risk of experiencing depression due to hormonal fluctuations which can either occur while trying to get pregnant and is carried over to childbearing.


  1. Unsupportive or Estranged Environment

Pregnancy is a rewarding yet challenging portion of a woman’s life. During this period, women are in need of support and care from her partner and other members of the family. Lack of support, isolation, a history of violence or abuse, substance,and alcohol dependence, a history of miscarriage, financial instability, and life stressors, are just some of leading reasons why would-be moms experience anxiety and depression.



Why Treatment Is A Must


Depressed pregnant women are less likely to seek health; therefore, they will avoid any healthcare assessment and intervention and one of which is prenatal care. Prenatal care is vital for pregnant women and proper growth and development of the baby. If depression is not treated, it will progress to childbirth and will gravely affect the mother and child relationship that could also have detrimental consequences for the baby in the future.