I didn't know it at the time, but I started suffering from depression and anxiety when I was in my third trimester with Skylar. I thought it was just pregnancy hormones, but looking back, this went beyond just the "normal" moody pregnancy stuff.
I couldn't be around Chase because just looking at him wore me out to exhaustion. I was always mad about something or at someone. I started eating way too much to try and stuff the feelings down (that one I'm still dealing with the consequences of). I was freaking out constantly that someone catastrophic was going to happen to me, the unborn Skylar, or Chase. I had a hard time being out of the house for too long because I thought an accident was going to happen.
I'm not sure what I would have done if I realized at the time what was going on. Because I was so late into the pregnancy, I probably wouldn't have started medication (especially since I planned on trying to breastfeed again). I do know that I would have started therapy then. Maybe I wouldn't have gotten as bad as I did. Just goes to show that you need to pay attention to your feelings and TALK to someone about how you're feeling. No matter what the circumstances are.
What Causes Depression During Pregnancy?
There are several causes of depression during pregnancy:
- Having a history of depression or PMDD (premenstrual dysphoric disorder, a severe type of PMS)
- Age at time of pregnancy; the younger you are, the higher the risk.
- Living alone or having limited familial support
- Limited social support
- Marital conflict or domestic violence
- Uncertainty about the pregnancy
How Can Depression Affect My Pregnancy?
It can interfere with a woman's ability to care for herself during her pregnancy. You may be less able to follow medical recommendations, as well as sleep and eat properly.
The condition can also put you at risk for greater use of tobacco, alcohol, and illegal drugs that can harm you and your developing baby.
Depression may interfere with your ability to bond with your growing baby, too.
How Does Pregnancy Affect Depression?
Pregnancy stresses can contribute to depression or to the return or worsening of depression symptoms.
Depression during pregnancy can place you at greater risk for having an episode of depression after delivery (postpartum depression).
What Should I Do if I'm Depressed During My Pregnancy?
Preparing for a new baby is a lot of hard work, but your health should come first. So, resist the urge to get everything done -- cut down on your chores, and do those things that will help you to relax. Taking care of yourself is a key part of taking care of your unborn child.
Talk to your friends, your partner, or your family about the things that concern you If you ask for support, you'll find that you often get it. If you're still feeling down and anxious, consider seeking therapy with a mental health specialist.
Evidence suggests that many antidepressant medicines are safe for treating depression during pregnancy, and will not harm your growing baby -- at least in the short term. Long-term effects have not been properly studied. You should discuss the possible risks and benefits of
antidepressants with your doctor. If necessary, he or she should also be able to refer you to a mental health specialist.
Information found at http://www.webmd.com/baby/pregnancy-depression
Always be honest and upfront about how you are feeling. And take into consideration what your family and friends are telling you. It never hurts to go get checked out. And just because some meds are considered safe at low doses doesn't mean that's what you have to do. There are plenty of other treatment options that you can try. And you can always change your treatment plan after you delivery that cute little baby of yours. No treatment plan is permanent.
You'll get through this. You'll start feeling better. And always remember, you are not alone.