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Signs of Depression During Pregnancy

Pregnancy is supposed to be one of the most joyous times in a woman’s life. But, for many women, the opposite is true. Often there are personal situations or chemical imbalances which can cause signs of depression during pregnancy, and it is vital to the health of the mother and the baby to be able to recognize these indicators and successfully treat the condition.

Another term for depression which happens during pregnancy is “antepartum depression”. It is a mood disorder like any other type of clinical depression. While depression is attributed to alterations in the chemistry of the brain, a secondary factor in antepartum depression is the fact that a woman’s hormones are in a state of flux throughout the pregnancy. Combine this with difficult situations in life or relationships and there is a real potential for depression to occur.

Below are Signs of Depression During Pregnancy, when they are consistent over at least a 2 week period of time:

  • Unrelenting feelings of sadness
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Sleeping more than needed, or being unable to sleep
  • Lack of interest in doing things that were once enjoyable
  • Feeling hopeless
  • Being stressed or feeling anxious for no apparent reason
  • Lack or appetite, or binge eating
  • Feeling unworthy

Some present or past situations that can be directly related to the onset of depression during pregnancy are:

  • Relationship difficulties, abuse, or issues with the baby’s father
  • Prior instances of depression in one’s self or relatives
  • Infertility treatments can often trigger depression
  • The pregnancy is a reminder of a prior miscarriage
  • Life situations or trauma which cause stress or sadness such as a death in the family
  • Pregnancy complications or being confined to bed rest
  • Having to stop taking depression medication because of the pregnancy

THE EFFECT OF DEPRESSION ON THE BABY

The unborn child can be affected by depression in that the condition can render the mother helpless to properly care for herself. She may turn to unhealthy options such as drinking or smoking, or she may not get adequate nutrition. These behaviors can lead to low birth weight, birth defects, premature birth, and problems in development for the child later in life. There is also the very real threat of suicidal thoughts. Babies born to depressed mothers can also exhibit signs of agitation as an infant and failure to thrive.
Seeking help for Signs of Pregnancy Depression

If you are experiencing prenatal depression symptoms, the question of how to treat it may come to mind. Certain studies have found a correlation between anti-depression medication and low birth weight in newborns, heart problems, physical malformations, and other types of birth defects. All medications, including alcohol, pass through the placenta to the baby. A sincere discussion with your healthcare provider is imperative to finding the safest treatment for antepartum depression. Therapy, support groups, Omega 3 fatty acids, and exercise are frequently suggested options.

TMS IS A SAFE AND VIABLE TREATMENT FOR PREGNANT WOMEN WITH SIGNS OF DEPRESSION

TMS, also known as Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, is now considered to be a safe solution for treating depression in pregnant women, in that there is no exposure to medications. Several research studies have shown that TMS is a viable option in treating depression during pregnancy, with some women reporting complete remission of depression. TMS has not been shown to negatively impact the development of a fetus; a recent study of children aged one to five whose mothers were treated with TMS while pregnant, concluded that no differences were found in those children when compared to children born to women who did not receive TMS.

TMS Neuro Solutions offers free consultations for anyone who is seeking information about Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation. If you are pregnant and experiencing antepartum depression, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our office to schedule an appointment. You and your baby deserve for your pregnancy to be one of the happiest times of your life.