In the last few years, people have learned more about postpartum depression, and that's a good thing. The issue of women experiencing depression after giving birth was largely ignored until then. But what about issues like prenatal depression, where depression occurs before the baby is born?
What Is Prenatal Depression?
Prenatal depression is depression that occurs before a woman gives birth. The depression may include symptoms like insomnia, tearfulness, and general sadness. It may come with symptoms like dread and anxiety. Often, the women who experience these symptoms mistake them for other issues, like hormonal concerns. For this reason, the condition is largely ignored or unknown.
Who Could Likely Have Prenatal Depression?
Even women who are happy to be having a baby may experience prenatal depression. They may experience intense anxiety and worry that causes them to feel unable to enjoy their pregnancy. The issue can impact women who are choosing adoption for their babies too. Birth mothers may have a more difficult time coping with prenatal depression, especially if they experience other fears associated with adoption.
How Do Doctors Diagnose Prenatal Depression?
Prenatal depression is often not diagnosed, but if you suspect you have the condition, it is important to speak with a doctor. The doctor can assess your overall health and ask you some questions that help determine if you have abnormal symptoms. Many women feel ashamed to discuss their symptoms, perhaps because they think they will be judged for not being completely happy with their pregnancy. When you speak to your doctor, you should not have to worry about these feelings of judgment.
How Can You Treat Prenatal Depression?
Therapy is one way to address the depression you experience during this time, but it is not the only option. For many pregnant women, it is also important to join support groups. It is often reassuring to know that one is not alone in their feelings, especially when they are in a vulnerable state. Additionally, pregnant women can benefit from some lifestyle changes. A doctor may recommend some dietary changes and exercises that are safe for pregnant women to try.
Prenatal depression is one of the many concerns you may have as a new mother. Whether you plan to parent your child or you are choosing adoption, you may experience overwhelming depression and anxiety that impact your life. Talk to prenatal care services today about your concerns about your emotions.