Help Dealing with Prenatal Depression

Maternity Care

Tammy George

woman suffering from prenatal depression

Everyone expects pregnant women to be glowing with good health and happiness. But not all mums-to-be share this experience and it’s no wonder. Pregnancy plays havoc with hormones which can impact on mood. There can be concerns about finance, the progress of the baby’s growth and possibly major changes to lifestyle which can impact on the enjoyment of a pregnancy.

Between changes to their body and the concerns, it’s no surprise some women can become depressed. But what can you do if you suspect your friend or family member has depression?  

What are the Symptoms of Prenatal Depression?

It’s normal for pregnant women to have mood fluctuations and worries when pregnant but there are signs of prenatal depression you can look out for:

  • Mood swings and irritability

  • Panic attacks

  • Thoughts of suicide or self-harm

  • Obsessive behaviour

  • Worrying that persists

  • Withdrawing from social activities

  • Extreme tiredness

Sometimes the feelings are so overwhelming they stop caring for their well-being which can harm themselves and their unborn baby. One of the biggest concerns is that prenatal depression can continue into post natal depression. Mother and baby are then both at risk with continued depression.

Often the symptoms are more obvious to people around them than the person suffering depression.  

Treatment for Depression During Pregnancy

For mild to moderate depression, psychotherapy treatment may be used to treat depression. Some patients prefer to treat their depression without medication while pregnant. For more severe cases or a history of depression, medication or a combination of treatments may be needed.

How you can Help

If you suspect your friend or family member is depressed, ask if they are ok and if there is anything you can do for them. Let them know your concerns and ask them to look after themselves by speaking to their doctor. Reassure them that depression is a common side effect of pregnancy and best to have it checked out.

HIF Maternity Cover

The years spent creating your family are when you rely most on quality hospital cover. Take a look at the benefits included in HIF Maternity Cover and enjoy peace of mind knowing you have the right health cover when you need it most.  

Tammy George

Please note: Tammy's blog is general advice only. For further information on this topic please consult your healthcare professional.

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