Depression during pregnancy

Depression during pregnancy

Pregnancy is a great pleasure for women and there is no reason for pregnant women to feel sad. However, the emotional problems of pregnant women sometimes can not be controlled. It is the fact that depression is very common to pregnant women during pregnancy and from 14% to 23% of expectant mothers suffer from depression. It is the sudden increase in hormones during pregnancy that makes them suffer from stress and anxiety. Moreover, social pressures and preparations for motherhood make this psychological disease more severe. If this disease is not treated, depression during pregnancy can affect the health of pregnant women and fetuses.


There are many causes of depression during pregnancy, in which the main causes include hormonal changes (hormone), genetic factors, life pressures, being pregnant at the young age, problems relating to abused women and thyroid gland problems.

  • Hormonal changes

Hormones directly affect the control of emotions and moods. The fluctuation of hormones also alter the menstrual cycles of pregnant women, making them suffer from depression.

  • Heredity factors

Depression can also be hereditary through generations in the family. If your family have a person suffering from depression or emotional disorders, you can also become more sensitive and more prone to depression during pregnancy period.

  • Being pregnant at the young age

Many studies have shown that young pregnant women are at more risk of depression than older women.

  • Abused women

Labor abuse, sexuality abuse and lack of respect can make pregnant women more sensitive, helpless and isolated. Those are direct causes make them suffer from depression symptoms.

  • Thyroid gland disorders

This problem relates to hormones. The thyroid gland is the birthplace of hormonal changes having a large effect on the hormonal changes of pregnant women. Once their thyroid gland is disordered, they also suffer from depression.

Symptoms of depression during pregnancy

It is difficult to diagnose depression during pregnancy because its symptoms are not clear and they are the same as symptoms of pregnancy ( sleeping, changing diet, having no interest in sex, anxiety, inability to focus and emotional instability, …). Pregnant women should pay attention to the extent of changing their negative feelings such as being always sad and disappointed for a long time, extreme anxiety, fears, early going to see a doctor. By ensuring a scientific daily lifestyle, eating enough nutrients and better caring for themselves, pregnant women can get rid of depression during pregnancy.

If any of the following symptoms occurs every day in the period of 2 weeks, you should see a doctor:

  • Feel sad, restless or bored
  • Cry much
  • Do not want to be close to friends and family
  • Don’t care the activities in which you used to be interested
  • Lose weight
  • Excess weight
  • Suffer from appetite and loss of appetite
  • Have troubles in sleeping, or sleep too much
  • Think with a poor concentration or have difficulties in making decisions
  • Think about death or suicide
  • Headache, bellyache
  • Don’t see health professionals for antenatal care and don’t follow health guidelines for pregnant women
  • Use harmful substances such as tobacco, alcohol and drugs (cocaine; heroin)


Some women who do not treat depression during pregnancy may experience serious side-effects for themselves and their children. Studies have shown that depression during pregnancy can lead to premature birth, infants with low weight, gestational diabetes. If it is severe, it can lead to the retardation in the fetus. Moreover, depression during pregnancy can make women suffer postpartum depression, can have significant effects on the psychology of mothers after birth and the development of babies whose mothers suffer from depression.


Depression can be treated if it is detected early and is treated with effective treatment methods. Most psychological treatments do not use antidepressants. Instead, they use psychological therapies and light therapies (exposure to high intensity light to increase serotonin hormone, a type of hormone being responsible for regulating moods in the brain), acupuncture and meditation.

Meanwhile, antidepressants can also be used in combination with the above measures, including Zoloft, Prozac, Paxil and Celexa Wellbutrin. However, experts warn that using these drugs during pregnancy may pose risks to pregnant women and these drugs should not be used for a long time.

If you intend to use antidepressants during pregnancy, you should consult your doctor or your psychiatrist carefully. If you stop using antidepressants abruptly, it can cause you danger, especially if you have a history of mood disorders.

Lifestyle changes are also one of the measures for natural depression treatment effectively. You just need to adjust the way of taking a rest, working, eating and living to prevent stress and fatigue. As a result, when your spirit and emotion are balanced, you will overcome depression easily. Specifically, you should keep a healthy lifestyle with the following things:

  • Spend a lot of time on outdoor activities such as eating, walking in the park, having vacations in the beach instead of sitting in the house all the day.
  • Don’t work too hard
  • Don’t stay up late
  • Don’t get up late
  • Don’t skip breakfast
  • Eat enough nutrition under the guidance of doctors
  • Do exercise everyday
  • Chat with relatives more
  • See doctors for antenatal care
  • Seek for help from relatives and psychiatrist if you suffer severe depression.

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