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Understanding Pregnancy and Depression

Pregnancy and child birth are a joyous time, yet one out of five women will experience severe depression during pregnancy and three out of five women will suffer from post-partum depression. Luckily, this well known fact has led to the effective understanding and treatment of pregnancy depression.

Depression during pregnancy may be brought on by a number of issues. First, a pregnant woman’s hormones are significantly heightened during pregnancy, which can cause many moods, including depression. Those prone to depression as a matter of routine or those with a history of mental health issues will be at higher risk for pregnancy depression.

Depression during pregnancy can often be brought on by a feeling of fear or loss of control. You lose a lot of control over your body during pregnancy and because of hormones; you may lose control over your emotions as well. You may also experience “pregnancy brain” which is the term often used for the short term memory loss that tends to come with pregnancy. All of this can add up to making you feel like you aren’t yourself anymore and that there’s nothing you can do about it.

When these moments persist, it’s important to have the support of your spouse and family. Only this close-knit personal support group can truly help you to overcome this type of pregnancy depression. Of course, if you don’t have this familial support, you can always find support groups and therapists willing to help you through this difficult time.

In addition, post-partum depression is the most common form of pregnancy depression – in fact, almost half of all pregnant women suffer from this type of depression. Post-partum depression occurs as a result of the woman’s hormone levels changing dramatically as her body returns to normal. It’s also the result of a feeling of loss. When the baby is no longer in the womb, a feeling of loss can ensue, no matter how wonderful it feels to finally hold your baby in your arms.

The best way to overcome post-partum depression is to spend as much time with your baby as possible. Keeping your baby close to you as much as possible will help you and your baby with the transition from pregnancy to newborn life. There are wonderful cloth carriers available that keep your baby right next to your heart at all times as you move around, keeping your hands free for other activities.

Another way to get over post-partum depression is to spend additional time with your spouse and family. You may begin to feel as if you have no life now that you’re the mother of a newborn, which can also contribute to depression after pregnancy. However, when you take your baby with you as much as possible and work toward regaining as much normalcy as possible, you’ll be able to overcome depression much more quickly.

Finally, if you work full-time and feel that being away from your job is affecting your mental health, you may also want to consider arranging to do some part-time work from home via computer until you’re ready to go back to work.

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