Pregnancy and Depression: What’s the Connection?

Pregnancy and Depression: What’s the Connection?

Everyone experiences feelings of sadness. They are a natural response to life’s difficult times and events, and they usually lessen with time.

Clinical depression goes beyond feelings of sadness and is a real illness with potentially serious consequences. It is a mood disorder and impacts people’s quality of life. People with depression struggle with daily life because it affects the way they function.

Relationships, self-esteem, work, motivation, sleep, appetite, and more are all affected by depression. It is not a weakness and is a condition that requires treatment from a healthcare professional.

Depression during pregnancy

It was once believed that pregnancy hormones could protect a mother-to-be from depression, but this is no longer the case. Changes in hormones during pregnancy can make a woman highly emotional, and this makes it harder to cope with depression.

Some women experience depression after the birth of a child, known as postpartum depression. It is not to be confused with the “baby blues,” which is mild depression that usually goes away within 2 weeks of the baby’s birth.

Women can also start to feel depressed while they are pregnant. This is known as perinatal depression.

Perinatal depression is a major depression with extreme feelings of sadness, anxiety, and tiredness. This illness can make it difficult for a new mother to take care of herself and her baby once it is born.

Risk factors

Perinatal depression may result from a combination of emotional, physical, and environmental factors. Some of the risk factors are:

  • Previously having depression
  • A family history of depression
  • An unplanned pregnancy
  • A problematic pregnancy or birth experience
  • Giving birth to twins or more
  • Financial worries
  • Relationship difficulties
  • Not having a support network of family or friends
  • Smoking, drinking alcohol, using drugs

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Source: Medical News Today

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