Most women are glowing and extremely happy during their pregnancy. But there are some who may feel a bit “under the weather” between month 1 to full term. Their hormones will release the “sad” vibes, and pregnant women may experience depression. Yes, you read that right. It is a condition known as Prenatal Depression, and it happens to expectant mothers all over the world.
There are no exact reasons as to why pregnant women experience Prenatal Depression. It just happens. The mother may be all joyous today, and in an instant, she can show signs of the mental health disorder. It is also possible that a mother already has mild symptoms when still without the baby. Upon inception, the signs of prenatal depression manifest itself.
The good news, according to Megan MacCutcheon, LPC, is that “Typically, new moms are screened for postpartum depression by their OBGYNs at their six-week postpartum appointment.” As for the bad news, however, “The problem is that the six-week postpartum visit is sometimes the only time a woman is screened, and OBGYNs may miss the whole population of women whose symptoms develop after that six-week period.”
How Rampant Is Prenatal Depression?
Experts have published studies about the topic, and they discovered that the Prenatal Depression occurs in pregnant mothers at an alarming rate of 20%. The disturbing fact about it is that most of these women carrying their unborn child do not succumb to therapy or counseling for their depression. Moreover, 7 out of 100 mothers with Prenatal Depression are unconscious of their mental health problems.
Yes, it is a mental health disorder. Any type of depression is termed as a mental health issue. It doesn’t mean though that if you have Prenatal Depression, you are crazy. Depression is not about being psychologically mad. It is about feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, loneliness, and in extreme situations, it is thinking of hurting yourself. While this issue is very severe and critical, let’s clear out the “depressed people are crazy” stigma. Pregnant mothers with Prenatal Depression do need help and counseling, or therapy can assist them in overcoming the mental health problem.
How Will I Know That I Have Prenatal Depression?
According to Dr. Dawn Kingston, “We’ve found that over 75% of women feel confused by mood swings. They don’t know whether their emotions are normal or not for pregnancy, and they worry about missing something that might harm their baby.” Well, mothers carrying their unborn babies with Prenatal Depression will show these signs and symptoms:
- The mother will not be able to focus or concentrate well like that of an average person.
- It is also likely that a pregnant mother will be forgetful. This condition is brought about by the depression as they want to forget things.
- Not just for those with Prenatal Depression, but for people with Clinical Depression in general, they have this feeling of emptiness or being numb and void. Something in their heart is hollow.
- They are often irritated and annoyed by even the slightest of things, and it’s not just about their pregnancy.
- Moms with the condition are often oversleeping or undersleeping.
- The moms don’t want to do anything, and they are often overly tired.
- Sex or intimate relations are also an issue for them.
- Pregnant moms are anxious, and they dread excessively about giving birth.
- As already mentioned, the mothers will feel hopeless, helpless, severe sadness, maybe even guilt, and unhappy.
- The mother will detach from the baby.
- She will not feel happy with the baby’s arrival.
- In some very toxic instances, the pregnant mother will be contemplating dying or will want to kill herself.
Some Reasons Why Pregnant Moms Go Through Prenatal Depression
There is no one definite reason to pinpoint as to why a mom experiences Prenatal Depression, but here are some important factors to consider:
- A broken marriage failed relationships or domestic abuse
- Issues within her immediate family
- Medical history of the mother’s family for depression
- Loss of a child before the present pregnancy or a complicated pregnancy
- Other traumatic life events
Healing From Prenatal Depression
Prenatal Depression can be overcome through Prenatal Depression Therapy and Counseling. It is the preferred choice since taking anti-depressants may affect the development of the unborn child. In some extreme cases though, the use of ADs is allowed, but the whole prescription is controlled and monitored.
As for therapy, a treatment program is designed specifically for a mother who has the condition. “The best prenatal care for depression is undertaken when an obstetrician, psychiatrist, and pediatrician work together to provide the best quality of care for the mother and her baby,” according to Stephanie Moulton Sarkis, Ph.D., N.C.C., D.C.M.H.S., L.M.H.C. If you exhibit some of the signs and symptoms mentioned above, then you need the assistance of a mental health counselor specializing in Prenatal Depression. You cannot take care of your fragile little one if your mental health is not in its tiptop shape.