Pregnancy & Postpartum
Expecting the birth of a child can be a joyous and exciting time, but it can also be a stressful one. Throughout pregnancy and postpartum, your body goes through a lot of change. The stresses of these changes can cause you to experience depression during pregnancy. This emotional change can impact the way you feel about yourself and the world around you. It’s important to reach out to a mental health professional if you are experiencing depression because it is treatable. Women who are depressed during pregnancy are at a higher risk of postpartum depression.
How Common is Depression During Pregnancy?
Depression is almost as commonly seen in pregnant women as it is in non-pregnant women. This condition can happen at any time in your life, including during pregnancy.
Depression is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. It is the most common mood disorder in the general population. The condition occurs twice as often in women as in men, and the initial onset of depression peaks during a woman’s reproductive years.
What is Postpartum Depression?
Postpartum depression (PPD) is a major form of depression and is less common than postpartum “baby blues.” PPD includes all the symptoms of depression but occurs only following childbirth. It can begin any time after delivery and can last up to a year. PPD is estimated to occur in approximately 10 to 20 percent of new mothers.
Symptoms of Depression/PPD
The signs and symptoms of depression during pregnancy and PPD are the same as those that occur with depression in the general population. However, additional signs and symptoms include:
- Excessive anxiety about your baby
- Low self-esteem, such as feelings of inadequacy about parenthood
- The inability to experience pleasure from activities usually found enjoyable
- Poor response to reassurance
- Feeling tired all the time
- Thoughts of hurting yourself or your baby
- Poor adherence to prenatal care
- Smoking, drinking alcohol, or using illicit drugs
- Poor weight gain due to a decreased or inadequate diet
With appropriate treatment, postpartum depression symptoms usually improve. In some cases, postpartum depression can continue, becoming chronic depression. If you notice these signs and symptoms while you are still pregnant, it’s important to seek help as soon as possible.
Treatment Can Help
Psychiatric Associates can help you manage difficult emotions that come with:
- Depression during pregnancy
- Postpartum Depression
- Postpartum Anxiety
- Other maternal mental health challenges
If you’re experiencing any of these issues, please know that you are not alone. All too often, people suffer in silence, believing that their problems are normal or that they just need to toughen up. The truth is that your mental health is important to us, and your concerns will be taken seriously.