Pregnancy is marketed as a lovely time in a woman's life where she is always happy and glowing while she sashays along the shore in a sheer bohemian dress. But the reality is that pregnancy often comes with a fair amount of stress which can sometimes lead to depression. It's important for expecting parents to recognize the signs of prenatal depression.
According to the American Pregnancy Association (APA), the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) noted that anywhere from 14 to 23 percent of women struggle with symptoms of depression during pregnancy. What To Expect suggested that, due to surging hormones, increased amounts of stress, anxiety, and societal pressure, women are even more susceptible to depression when they’re pregnant and shortly there after than at any other time in their lives.
Prenatal depression can be severe, and some women will find themselves unable to care for themselves. Thankfully, there are several ways to treat depression in expectant mothers. This can include therapy, exercise and some doctors may even recommend antidepressant medication that can be taken while pregnant.
Check out these signs of prenatal depression, and talk to a healthcare professional if you or a loved one is experiencing any of these symptoms.
1. Persistent Sadness, Irritability, Or Excessive Crying
2. Feelings Of Guilt, Worthlessness, Or Hopelessness
Moms with prenatal depression can feel guilty for no reason. They may also struggle with self-worth, and feel that there is no hope left in the world. All Parenting warned to watch out for persistent thoughts of suicide and death.
3. Extreme Fatigue
Although fatigue is normal in pregnancy, extreme bouts of fatigue and having no energy for an extended period of time could be a sign of prenatal depression according to All Parenting.
4. Extreme Changes In Appetite
If you are uncontrollably eating, or not eating enough, Parents warned that this could be a sign of prenatal depression. Malnourishment can be dangerous for an expecting mom and her baby.
5. Problems Concentrating
This goes beyond "mommy brain" or being scatterbrained. If you have a difficult time focusing and concentrating while you're pregnant, it could be a sign of depression according to What To Expect.
6. Changes In Sleep
It's normal to feel sleepy when you're pregnant, but the APA warned that severe insomnia or sleeping all day could mean that you may be experiencing prenatal depression.
The APA warned to look out for the loss of interest in activities you used to enjoy. What To Expect suggested that if you are uninterested in life in general, it is a sign of prenatal depression.