Depression during pregnancy afflicts one in five females, with many of them experiencing acute symptoms. During gestation, females with a history of depression have a greater risk of suffering than other females.
Antepartum Depression or Depression during pregnancy is a mood condition wherein gestational hormone variations could impact brain chemistry and trigger symptoms lasting a fortnight or more.
- Sleep difficulties.
- Excessive sleep.
- Lost interest.
- Sense of guilt.
- Depleted energy levels.
- Concentration problems.
- Appetite variations.
- Feeling restless, agitated, or slackened movements.
- Suicidal thought process or plans.
Depression is a grave medical condition posing a threat to maternal-fetal health and is of duo forms, namely:
Mild-ranging types of Depression are lesser acute, and individuals might yet have long-lasting symptoms. Though that person would be capable of conducting daily tasks, he/she would not be functioning properly or feeling good. Such a person might even suffer from periods of Major Depression.
Major Depression is a severe ailment interfering with an individual’s capability of studying, eating, working & enjoying himself/herself. Some people may go through this type of Depression in one or more instances during their lifetime.
Dangers of Unmanaged Depression during Pregnancy
Also, infants delivered by depressed women tend to be more angry, sluggish & with lesser attentiveness as compared to other kids. Depression during pregnancy might even trigger premature birth or underweight babies.
Other risks of non-treated Depression to the expectant mother & her infant are:
- Preeclampsia (a form of hypertension during gestation).
- Pitiable increase in weight.
- Pitiable antenatal care.
- Unwholesome consumption practices.
- Drug usage or alcohol for self-medications.
Moms under Depression are frequently less capable of tending to themselves or the kid or bonding with their kids.
It might be tricky in diagnosing Depression during pregnancy as several of the symptoms bear a resemblance to the ones usually observed during gestation. For example, variations in appetite & sleeping problems are commonly experienced among expectant mothers. Also, an anemic female or those suffering from thyroid problems might be lacking energy though not under Depression. Hence, discussing with a doctor whenever one is experiencing any of the signs mentioned above as the precise cause could be found out and treated timely.
Treatment for Depression is multifaceted. Some find succor in support groups while other females visit mental health experts (psychiatrists, psychotherapists, social workers) to get counseled or seek treatment. Among females having mild-ranging Depression, single/group therapy might suffice in resolving their symptoms.
Many individuals ail from depression form termed SAD (seasonal affective disorder), which arises in the autumn or wintry months when sunlight is scarce. Light therapy that involves looking inside a lightbox having specially devised light bulb illumination is recommended on several instances daily till symptoms allay. ECT or electroconvulsive therapy might be suggested for acute Depression wherein electrical currents are done via the brain.
Antidepressant Drug course for Treating Depression
The majority of the antidepressant drugs could be classified into duo sets, namely:
TCA (Tricyclic antidepressant drugs)
- Tofranil or imipramine
- Pamelor or nortriptyline, Aventyl.
- Elavil or amitriptyline.
SSRI (Selective serotonin uptake inhibitor drugs)
- Zoloft or sertraline.
- Cymbalta or duloxetine.
- Prozac or fluoxetine.
- Celexa or citalopram.
- Paxil or paroxetine.
- Lexapro or escitalopram.
- Effexor or venlafaxine.
Women antidepressant users keen on conceiving must first speak to their doctors in advance and jointly decide on whether the drug intake has to be continued, drug changed or gradual weaning off the dosage, or stopping intake.
Antidepressant study findings
It is always a challenge to research & comprehend the dangers of any medication offered to expectant mothers & its effects on fetal health. Medicines that women could safely take at times pose a risk to the unborn child. Due to this reason, scientists haven’t delved deep into researching many medications during gestation.
Many medications have been in use for several years sans any apparent indications of grave risks to the fetus like TCA drugs about which detailed info is available compared to SSRI drugs, a comparatively new category of medicines, and scientists are still studying them.
Several antidepressant drugs have been associated to fetal conditions like cardiovascular issues, underweight babies & elevated blood pressure in the arteries supplying blood to the lungs. Females under Depression also have a greater likelihood of falling sick once more when they halt their drug intake. Several females have found relief from a merger of antidepressant medicines plus therapy.
Zeroing down on antidepressant medicine
Deciding upon which antidepressant is best suited for these women could be tricky, and complete resolutions are not available. The doctor would be weighing the pros & cons of varied medications, other therapies, as well as palpating the risk of non-treated Depression for mom & her unborn child before coming to any decision.
Herbal cures for Depression during Pregnancy
Saint Johns’ Wort is an herb that several individuals deploy for treating Depression. Studies prove that it might be beneficial to treat mild-ranging & moderate Depression, while some have contradicted this finding.
Herbal items differ in their concentration & quality across varied products. Further study is needed to ascertain if Saint John’s Wort is beneficial and could be safely taken by women during pregnancy for depression treatment. It is imperative to discuss with your doctor before taking any herb firstly.