It goes without saying that depression is nothing to take lightly and the implications for the person experiencing it can...
It goes without saying that depression is nothing to take lightly and the implications for the person experiencing it can be serious. Fortunately, postpartum depression has become far less taboo and more widely talked about, thanks to a general awareness and high profile women, such as Cindy Crawford, who willingly stepped into the spotlight to share their struggles. With more awareness, more women are seeking help for PPD. But what about depression during pregnancy? I mean, aren't pregnant women supposed to be happy, excited, basking in the light of growing a life? Not necessarily. New research shoes that depression during pregnancy isn't uncommon. In fact,
Nationwide, 10% to 16% of pregnant women meet the criteria for depression, and 70% show some depressive symptoms, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. (Source)
That's a lot of expectant moms. While the study focused on two women's clinics in New Mexico, the authors feel that it's a nationwide concern. Therapist Stefanie Luna lists the following among signs of depression:
  • feelings of dread about the pregnancy
  • isolation from loved ones
  • anxiety
  • lack of ability to experience pleasure
  • constant sadness
  • self-harm
  • changes in appetite
  • suicidal thoughts
If taking care of yourself isn't reason enough to seek help for depression during pregnancy -- and it should be reason enough -- consider this: Depression during pregnancy puts your baby at risk for preterm delivery or low birth weight, and that's dangerous.
Being born too soon and weighing too little at birth can jeopardize the immediate survival and long-term health of babies. Preterm birth and low birth weight are leading causes worldwide of infant and early childhood mortality, respiratory distress, neurological and developmental impairment, cerebral palsy, blindness, hearing loss and other disabilities. (Source)
If you're pregnant and you feel depressed, please talk to your doctor about it. You shouldn't feel ashamed or embarrassed. In fact, based on these studies, it's not unusual. Take care of yourself and your baby.

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