Pregnancy Depression - What Causes It?

Pregnancy is usually thought of as a time to be happy and excited while anticipating a baby’s arrival, and pregnant women often are filled with a sense of well-being during pregnancy. But, what if a struggle with pregnancy depression occurs? Knowing the causes of pregnancy depression can help combat the symptoms and get you back on track to a happy and healthy pregnancy.

If you have a history of depression, pregnancy depression is more likely to occur. Also, if you’re younger than the normal age for a woman to have a baby, you’re more prone to pregnancy depression. Teenage moms-to-be have a high rate of depression, most likely caused by low self-esteem and anxiety.

Pregnancy can often cause stress on a marriage or relationship and conflict within the marriage can result. Financial pressures associated with the pregnancy, health worries and lack of support from a partner can further the risk of pregnancy depression. If you’re pregnant and living alone with no support at all, depression is also likely to occur.

Caring for your mental and physical well-being is especially crucial during pregnancy, but it can also become more difficult to take the time and indulge yourself in things that would make you feel better. You may lose sleep as a result of being uncomfortable and suffer from certain food cravings that may not be included in a diet that would help you feel better.

Having other children could be a big cause of pregnancy depression, especially if the child you’re pregnant with now wasn’t planned. You may not be financially or mentally able to support another child, and those thoughts alone can cause depression to set in and possibly overwhelm you.

Indulging in alcohol or drugs during pregnancy can cause depression and also harm you and the baby. If you smoke, ask your doctor about ways to help you quit that are safe for the baby. Smoking during pregnancy can work against feeling fit and healthy.

When you suspect that you’re depressed during a pregnancy, seek help immediately for the future health and well-being of yourself and your baby. Your doctor may recommend that you reduce your hectic schedule and devote more time to taking care of yourself. Get support from friends and family if you can and tell them how you’re feeling.

Certain antidepressants can be used safely during most pregnancies, so ask your health care provider if nothing you do helps pregnancy depression to subside or disappear. You might also want to combine the antidepressant medication with trips to a counselor to try and work through some of the problems that may be causing the depression.

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