Stress is bad for everybody at any point in life, but it is really dangerous for a woman who is planning to start off her family and is struggling to get pregnant. According to researchers, in US, rising levels of stress can lower the fertility levels in women as it upsets their menstrual cycle and prevents ovulation. If you too are a stress struck women planning to have a baby, make sure you take some stress-reducing therapy sessions and try and remain happy and away from all kinds of tensions.
Often depression during pregnancy is overlooked, which may further give rise to complications. Researchers say depression affects between 10 percent and 15 percent of pregnant women and is the strongest risk factor for postpartum depression. During which they are not able to eat properly neither get enough rest or prenatal care, which increases the risk of premature birth or low birth weight. Heather Flynn, a Ph.D., psychologist at the University of Michigan, in a news release says many pregnant women may not realize they’re depressed or that their depressed feelings aren’t normal during pregnancy. Common during Pregnancy General Hospital Psychiatry, researchers surveyed more than 1,800 pregnant women in obstetricians’ waiting rooms for symptoms of depression. They found fewer than half of those who were taking antidepressants (either alone or in combination with talk therapy) had been taking them at the recommended dose for at least six weeks. Most antidepressants must be taken for six to eight weeks to give relief. Signs of Depression Researchers have up with some signs of depression, which they have discovered in women during pregnancy. They are as follows: 1. Depressed mood 2. Decreased interest or pleasure in activities 3. Changes in appetite 4. Change in sleep pattern 5. Fatigue or loss of energy 6. Difficulty concentrating 7. Excessive feelings of worthlessness or guilt 8. Thoughts of suicide 9. Extreme restlessness 10. Irritability
Danish researchers have postulated that first-time mothers are at increased risk for mental disorders while fathers do not share that risk. The research is based on 32-year-old study that included more than 2.3 million Danes, nearly one in 1000 first time mothers were admitted to a psychiatric hospital with a mental illness such as depression, schizophrenia or bipolar disorder within the first three months. Mothers were four times more likely than women without children to be hospitalized with a mental illness. Amongst fathers, only 0.37 of 1,000 births resulted in a mental disorder, which was comparable to men without children or men with an older infant. Study’s author Trine Munk-Olsen said, ‘This may indicate that the causes of postpartum mental disorders are more strongly linked to an altered physiological process related to pregnancy and childbirth than psychosocial aspects of motherhood’. The report proposed that a woman’s hormones before and after birth are responsible for the changes.
Experts have postulated that stress and depression during pregnancy is directly proportional to premature birth. Hormones which are related to stress play an important part in the development of unborn baby and this tends to shoot up in women who are in depression during pregnancy. High levels of these hormones are involved in triggering labor, leading scientists to believe they could be behind many of the 45,000 premature births that occur in the UK each year – with potentially devastating results. Premature babies tend to die within the first few weeks of their births and if any amongst them survive, they tend to live with health problems such as, lung disease, cerebral palsy, blindness or deafness. Dr Veronica O’Keane, a specialist in mental health in pregnancy, stated ‘many thousands’ of the unexplained premature births are likely to be caused by soaring levels of stress hormones and they could be prevented by treating stress and depression in pregnancy. Dr O’Keane, pointed out that it’s myth that women do not under go depression during pregnancy and that they are their ‘happiest’ mood. However, pregnancy is a stage when women under goes various mood swings and hence, depression comes as a part of pregnancy. Work carried out by Dr O’Keane and presented at a London conference held by the Institute of Psychiatry, hinted that children whose mothers become depressed during pregnancy find it harder to handle stress themselves. Therefore, stress in any given day is not only good for the would-be mother after all it affects the mental health of the progeny as well.
It has been long postulated that new moms or moms-to-be generally suffer from depression. Though many pharmaceuticals have come up with drugs claiming to help cope with such depressions, the secrets seem to be lying in breast-feeding and the good fats in Omega-3 fatty acids. Both physical and psychological stressors increase levels of proinflammatory cytokines leading to inflammation, which eventually contribute hugely to depression in new mothers. And the cure for this depression lies in curbing the inflammation. That is why, most current treatments for the state of mind include the long-chain Omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, which are anti-inflammatory. Kendall-Tackett explains this in his report. Kathleen Kendall-Tackett explained, Depression in new mothers is common in many cultures, affecting anywhere from 10 percent to 20 percent of postpartum women. In some high-risk populations, the percentage can even be as high as 40 percent or 50 percent. Since depression has devastating effects on both mother and baby, it’s vital that it be identified and treated promptly. Depressed mothers are also more likely to stop breastfeeding with negative health effects for each. And, when it’s a matter of breastfeeding, it protects the maternal mood of the new mother lowering her stress. And, with the stress levels lowered, the mother’s inflammatory response system does not get activated. Thus, the whole the risk of depression is lowered as a whole. This new finding is published by a University of New Hampshire researcher in the International Breastfeeding Journal.
Pregnancy is supposed to be one of the happiest times of a woman’s life, but for many women this is a time of confusion, fear, sadness, stress and even depression. According to some medical scholars, nearly, one in 10 women suffers from depression during or immediately after pregnancy. Sharon Phelan, professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, stated that depression is overlooked because it is assumed that pregnancy protects women from depression and that postpartum depression is within a woman’s control. Researchers in 55th annual clinical meeting of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists in San Diego asserted that treatment of depression among pregnant women not only improved their depression, but also improved the women’s ability to care for their children. What is depression during pregnancy? Depression during pregnancy, or antepartum depression, is a mood disorder just like clinical depression. Mood disorders are biological illnesses that involve changes in brain chemistry. During pregnancy hormone changes can affect brain chemicals, which are directly related to depression and anxiety. These can be exacerbated by difficult life situations, which can result in depression during pregnancy. Antidepressants in pregnancy If you are taking an antidepressant and find that you are pregnant, do not stop taking your medication without first talking to your health provider. Call her/him as soon as you discover that you are expecting. It may be unhealthy to stop taking an antidepressant suddenly. Stay positive The initial demands on a new mother are exciting and tremendous. Feeling better takes time. You will feel like yourself again and better able to handle the everyday pressures as well as the demands of pregnancy and motherhood. Be realistic about the demands and expectations you make on yourself. Image Read