The discussion on the topic of mental health has become a lot more prevalent in recent years, with a major focus on depression. In terms of pregnancy and postnatal care, the topic of post-partum depression has also received a lot of attention. However, when it comes to a healthy discourse on mental health during the prenatal stage, there is a lot left to be desired.
During pregnancy, every expectant parent is aware of following the basics such as regularly consulting the obstetrician, getting a prenatal DNA testing kit to determine the gender of the unborn child if they so desire, focusing on the right diet and more. However, the mental health of expectant mothers needs to be emphasized, for they can also suffer from a condition called prenatal depression. It’s necessary to discuss this condition as it will directly or indirectly impact the health of the mother and the child.
Here are some symptoms, causes, and possible treatments for this ailment.
Symptoms of Prenatal Depression
Once again, much like general depression, its prenatal variant can also be diagnosed using a wide variety of symptoms or markers.
Some common symptom includes constant anxiety about the child, a severe lack of hope, a drastic change in eating patterns such as overeating or undereating, disturbed sleep and drop in concentration levels, unexplainable feelings of anger, proclivity to engage in unhealthy practices that deviate from prenatal guidelines and a lot more.
It is vital to immediately take action and consult a mental health professional if you or your loved one are experiencing these symptoms, for, if left unchecked, it can lead to suicidal thoughts as well. That being said, the above symptoms don’t guarantee prenatal depression, and can only be aptly diagnosed by a professional.
Causes for Prenatal Depression
Also known as perinatal depression, there are no concrete causes for this condition. Just like clinical depression, this form of pregnancy-related ailment can be brought on by a bevy of factors which includes various environmental, social, physical, and emotional conditions. However, irrespective of the cause, it’s very important to remember that it is not the fault of the mother, for such feelings can further compound the depressive episodes.
Possible Treatment for Prenatal Depression
To effectively combat it, it should be tackled on all fronts, which requires a therapeutic, medicinal, and self-caring approach.
One of the most effective ways to combat depression, talking to a licensed therapist can go a long way to effectively battling the symptoms, as well as getting a better understanding of the origin of these feelings. Some common, highly-effective practices used in therapy include cognitive–behavioural therapy (CBT) and interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT). Hence, don’t hesitate to reach out to a counsellor.
While therapy is fundamental, in many cases, it is not enough to combat depression. Hence, your therapist or doctor might also recommend some medication that is absolutely safe to take in your current condition and will not harm your unborn child in any way.
Lastly, it is vital to take charge of the situation and introduce some self-care practices such as indulging in a gentle exercise regimen such as walking, yoga, or any other mild exercise routine of your choosing.
Expectant mothers should also take some time off their schedule and try to indulge in their favourite activities to try to reduce their anxiety levels. Alternatively, they can also attend a support group, as seeing other expectant mothers going through something similar might really provide a sense of belonging and camaraderie.
Furthermore, those suffering from prenatal depression should also try to communicate honestly with their close friends, family members or partners about their situation, for this non-judgemental space could really bring solace and calm.
From prenatal paternity testing to accurate gender identification of the unborn child, you can get it all done at Prenatal Genetics. A state-of-the-art facility that is run by research scientists, we are experts in the field of non-invasive human DNA diagnostics. To know more about our tests and prices, contact us today