As all women might know, getting pregnant should be the happiest moment in their life but at times it might bring confusion, stress, fear and even depression. Statistics show that about 20% of all pregnant women deal with depression issues throughout their pregnancy.

The point is that when a pregnant woman gets depressed she might not get her diagnosis right because at that time she thinks it is just a normal hormonal imbalance affecting her and therefore letting the problem persist even further.

Having this wrong diagnosis might be dangerous for the unborn child, as well as the mother but the good news is that depression when pregnant can be managed and treated.

It is always advisable for all pregnant women to be availing themselves to a gynecologist all through their pregnancy stages.

A healthy pregnancy includes regular visits for sonograms, pelvic exams, required testing and advice on vitamins, diet, exercises and more. If a woman experiences pain or bleeding a pelvic sonogram may be required.

What is depression during pregnancy?
This is usually a mood disorder called ‘antepartum’ and it usually has the same signs just as the normal clinical depression. These mood disorders are biological and they usually change the normal brain chemistry. This is where body hormones are either produced in excess or in reduction and thus the brain is affected chemically.

Difficult life situations can also add up to the stress and anxiety levels that henceforth causes acute to severe depression during pregnancy.

Signs and symptoms of depression
Pregnant women experiencing depression for two weeks or more usually experience the below symptoms:
• Unending sadness,
• Cannot concentrate on any task,
• Having lack of sleep or sleeping more than a person should,
• Low moods and lack of interest in activities she usually enjoyed doing,
• Suicidal thoughts and hopelessness,
• Feeling of worthlessness,
• General anxiety at all times of the day
• Problems with eating such as eating too much or being unable to eat at all, etc.

What triggers depression during pregnancy?
The first cause of depression when a woman is pregnant is having relationship issues, especially with the partner. Having a history of depression in the family line is another major cause.

Likewise, if a lady has a history of miscarriage or losing a baby she gave birth to might make her get depressed when pregnant. There are also ladies who have a history of abuse either physically or emotionally, this causes trauma which hence brings depression during her pregnancy.

Depression causing harm to the unborn baby
When depression is untreated, it might be dangerous both to the mother and the baby. Malnutrition to both the baby and the mother is usually one sign of this kind of risky depression.

Also, depressed expectant mothers can opt to start drinking, smoking and even have suicidal thoughts trying to overcome depression. This combination of bad nutrition, drinking, and smoking, might cause low birth weight, problems in the development of the child and maybe a premature birth.

A pregnant depressed woman often doesn’t have the strength and desire to take care of her and the baby. This is why babies from depressed mothers show signs of inactivity, less attention, and agitation as compared to those babies born to mothers who were not depressed during their pregnancy.

Treatment for depression during pregnancy
It is not recommended for an expectant mother to use antidepressant medications to reduce depression. Studies have shown that some of these medicines might affect the unborn babies and cause them to have heart problems, hypertension in the lungs, as well as low weight during birth.

The more natural ways to reduce depression during pregnancy consists of psychotherapy, light therapy and attending frequent support group sessions.

But if a woman suffers from severe depression, a combination of medicines and psychotherapy can be administered. All pregnant women should always know that all medicines they take usually cross over to the unborn baby through the placenta. At this particular time, there has not been established which drugs are entirely safe for a pregnant depressed woman.

Some herbal remedies might also help women deal with depression while pregnant. Antidepressant medications are not that recommended due to their possible negative effects on the developing baby.

Herbal remedies affect the moods and the hormone serotonin. However, make sure to consult your health care provider before using these herbal remedies to make sure that they are safe for you and will not harm your baby.

The best way to prevent and manage depression during pregnancy is by leading a normal and healthy life, enjoying these amazing months with your partner while waiting for the baby to arrive, eating healthily, being physically active, getting enough sleep and rest and avoiding stress.

Author's Bio: 

Emma started writing at the age of 14. As the years passed she studied many fields including health, research and a variety of writing styles. Today she is a writer of health and wellness, technology, pet products and fashion articles, poetry, short stories, as well as children's stories.