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Depression during pregnancy: You're not alone

 How common is depression during pregnancy?

Pregnancy can be a time of joy — and stress. Research suggests that about 7% of pregnant women experience depression during pregnancy. Rates might be higher in low and middle income countries.

Depression, a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest, 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.


Why the depression during pregnancy is often not recognized?

Some symptoms of depression, including changes in sleep, energy level, appetite and libido, are similar to pregnancy symptoms. As a result, you or your health care provider can attribute these symptoms to your pregnancy, instead of depression.


Women may also be reluctant to talk with their health care providers about changes in mood during pregnancy, due to the stigma associated with depression. There is also a tendency to focus more on women's physical health during pregnancy, instead of mental health.


What are the risk factors for depression during pregnancy?

Some risk factors for depression during pregnancy include:


Anxiety

Vital stress

History of depression

Poor social support

Unwanted pregnancy

Couple's violence

What are the signs and symptoms of depression during pregnancy?

The signs and symptoms of depression during pregnancy are the same as those that occur with depression in the general population. However, additional tracks that could indicate depression during pregnancy include:


Excessive anxiety about your baby

Lower self-esteem, as feelings of insufficiency about paternity

The inability to experience pleasure of activities is usually nice.

Poor response to tranquility.

Bad adhesion to prenatal care.

Smoking, drinking alcohol or using illicit drugs.

Poor weight gain due to a diminished or inadequate diet

Thoughts of suicide

Some investigations suggest that depressive episodes occur more frequently during first and third quarters.


Why is the treatment of depression during pregnancy?

F You have untreated depression, you may not seek optimal prenatal care, eat healthy food your baby needs or have the energy to take care of yourself. It also has an increased risk of postpartum depression and having difficulties for union with your baby.


Depending on the severity of your depression, treatment options may include psychotherapy or antidepressants as well as psychotherapy.


What are the recommendations for depression detection during pregnancy?

The American School of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that health care providers be analyzed for depression and anxiety using a standardized tool at least once during pregnancy. During detection, your health care provider probably asks questions from a standardized detection questionnaire, which consists of questions about mood and anxiety. Your answers are qualified and your total score can be used to identify if you have depression. Alternatively, your health care provider may ask yourself if, in the last month, it has been bothered by feeling down, depressed or desperate or having little interest in doing things.


There is limited evidence that detection to identify and treat depression during pregnancy improves results. This could be due to variations in access to resources and adequate treatment once depression has been diagnosed. However, depression detection during pregnancy could provide some self-consciousness of your risk of depression and anxiety.


If you think you could have depression during pregnancy, do not wait for a projection. Talk to your health care provider about how you feel and work with him or her to determine the next steps.

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