‘I’m Having A Baby, So Why Don’t I Feel Happy?’ What You Need To Know About Depression During Pregnancy
You have dreamed of this moment since you were a little girl pushing your doll around in a pram. Now the time is here, you are carrying your very own baby and this time it won’t be a doll that you’ll be pushing around.
There’s only one problem though. You just can’t seem to shake the blue feeling that has been nagging you for some time now. Why don’t you feel happy when you’re going to have a baby? Because you’re normal! Yes it has been said that around 13% of woman suffer from depression either during or after pregnancy so please don’t feel that you are on your own with your unexpected gloominess.
So how should you know whether your condition is serious? Firstly, don’t panic! If you were feeling fine yesterday, but today are feeling a little down in the dumps, then remember you have a lot of hormones and emotions rushing around your body at the moment – give yourself a little time to see whether your mood lifts again.
What if it is more than that for you though? The little blue feelings seem to be taking over instead of drifting away. Then it’s time to consider the checklist below to identify whether you could be suffering from depression related to pregnancy.
If you find yourself experiencing some of the symptoms below for a substantial period (eg more than two weeks), then you should seek your doctor’s assistance:
– Crying a lot, or often on the verge of tears
– Over-eating or under-eating
– Experiencing feelings of sadness
– A feeling of hopelessness
– Feelings of guilt or lack of self-worth
– Lacking in energy or feeling unmotivated
– Lack of desire to socialise or spend time with close family or friends
– A lack of interest in enjoyable hobbies
– Constant aches, stomach problems or headaches
Can some women be more at risk than others when it comes to experiencing depression during pregnancy?
Women who experience some of the following factors may be more at risk to experience depression during pregnancy:
– A family history of depression
– Problems with a previous pregnancy
– Personal problems or problems related to marriage or money
– Lack of a support framework from family and friends
What Can I do If I Think I Am Suffering From Depression?
Don’t feel embarrassed or ashamed to talk about it. Remember you are normal! Talk to your doctor who can organise for practical help and treatment. In addition some of the tips below may be of use:
– Rest as much as you can
– Talk to your partner, a close friend or family member about how you are feeling – ask for help.
– Talk with other mothers who have suffered from depression during pregnancy. They may be able to give you some tips and suggestions aswell as sharing their own experience.
Whether you are simply feeling a little down, or are suffering with depression remember that sharing your feelings with someone you can trust can help to lighten your pain and put you on the road to where you want to be.