Prenatal Depression Treatment
We know that hormones are going haywire during pregnancy, but this assumption leads us to believe that depressive symptoms may be simply “pregnancy hormones”rather than being a treatable condition.
Understanding that prenatal or antenatal depression is not only common during pregnancy, but that it is treatable is a huge step in empowering soon-to-be-mothers and helping to relieve symptoms that otherwise may have persisted through the entire pregnancy or may even have developed into postpartum depression after the child is born.
What is Prenatal Depression?
Prenatal depression, otherwise known as antenatal depression, is a highly-treatable mod disorder causing depressive symptoms during pregnancy. While the exact cause of prenatal depression is not known, it is thought to be caused in part by the influx of hormones during pregnancy and exacerbated by the physiological and mental stress of pregnancy.
Prenatal depression often manifests in moodiness, excessive sadness, anxiety, difficulty sleeping, and loss of interest in activities that once interested you. These symptoms last 2 weeks or longer and often seem to be getting worse instead of better, or not improving at all.
Symptoms of Prenatal Depression
We know that hormones are going haywire during pregnancy, but how to we know the difference between normal hormonal mood swings and prenatal depression?
The first sign is the severity of the symptoms. Normal pregnancy blues should not impact your ability to function, your appetite, your quality of sleep, your relationships, or your mental wellbeing. If your symptoms are impacting your daily life, it may be a sign of something more serious.
The longevity of the symptoms is an indicator as well. If you experience depressive symptoms for two weeks or longer or the symptoms seem to be getting worse instead of better, this may be a sign of prenatal depression.
Symptoms of prenatal depression vary from person-to-person but often include any or some of the following:
- Excessive mood swings
- Feelings of hopelessness
- Change in appetite
- Feelings of guilt or worthlessness
- Recurring thoughts of suicide, self-harm, or hopelessness
- Difficulty concentrating
- Lack of interest in activities you used to enjoy
These symptoms often last for 2 weeks or longer and seem to be persisting or getting worse instead of improving.
How Common is Prenatal Depression?
According to the The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), between 14-23% of women will struggle with some symptoms of depression during pregnancy.
If you or someone you know may be suffering from symptoms of prenatal depression or prenatal anxiety or psychosis (often characterized by ruminating thoughts, overwhelming fear or worry that something is not right, hearing voices, or having thoughts of harming oneself or the baby), it’s important to seek care from a mental health professional or your healthcare provider.
What Does Treatment for Prenatal Depression Look Like?
Many to-be-mothers are concerned about asking for help for prenatal depression symptoms because they are nervous the immediate prescription will be medication, and they may be concerned about medication impacting the baby.
However, without treatment, the symptoms of prenatal depression can progress, increasing in seriousness or extending after childbirth, which can impact the development of the child. Prenatal depression can also impact the mother’s or child’s health during pregnancy as those suffering from prenatal depression symptoms may not take the steps necessary for a healthy pregnancy.
Medication is not the first or only course of treatment for prenatal depression. For mild to moderate prenatal depression, many health care providers choose to use treatment such as talk therapy and support groups. However, in the case of extreme prenatal depression, it’s important to weight the potential impact of medication to the benefits of the treatment.
Treatments for prenatal depression may include any combination of:
- Talk Therapy
- Support Groups
- Couples Counseling
- Medication (only when needed)
Prenatal Depression is Treatable – Start Your Recovery Now
Prenatal depression is very treatable, and to-be mothers can begin seeing relief from symptoms in as soon as two weeks. For more information about our prenatal depression treatment program, please call us at 801-984-0184 or send us a message by clicking Contact Us below.