Some women who are pregnant struggle with depression. It may start when you are pregnant. Or you may have had it before. If you had depression before, you are more likely to have it during your pregnancy. It may also be more likely if you feel anxious about your pregnancy or if you've had problems with a pregnancy before.
No one should feel ashamed about depression. It is a disease. You are not weak. And you don't have a character flaw. When you have depression, chemicals in your brain are out of balance. These chemicals are called neurotransmitters.
Managing depression is important for your own health. But it will also help you to have a healthy baby. You can treat depression with counselling, medicines, or both of these. Lifestyle changes may also help.
With all the changes in your life, you may not know if you are depressed. Pregnancy sometimes causes changes in how you feel that are similar to the symptoms of depression.
Symptoms of depression include:
You can also get regular exercise, healthy food, fresh air, and time with people who care about you. These are all important ways to prevent and treat depression and have a healthy pregnancy.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
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Current as of: May 12, 2017
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
& Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & A. Evan Eyler, MD, MPH - Family Medicine, Psychiatry
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