A paper issued late last month in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology notes that during pregnancy and the postpartum period...
A paper issued late last month in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology notes that during pregnancy and the postpartum period are both peak times when women may experience depression. With this in mind the journal urges doctors, midwives, and other care givers to provide priority routine screening for depression. The Mayo Clinic notes that many new moms experience the baby blues after childbirth while an estimated 10% of new moms experience postpartum depression; a more severe form of emotional distress. However, before your baby is born you may also experience depression. The March of Dimes notes that as many as 1 out of 5 women have symptoms of depression during pregnancy and for some women, those symptoms are severe. If you experience depression during pregnancy your baby is at a higher risk for preterm birth and other adverse outcomes. As for depression after pregnancy, babies may suffer cognitive and motor skill delays because your ability to interact with your baby while depressed is compromised. What can help:
- You should bring up postpartum depression with your care provider. DO NOT leave this up to your care provider. According to studies about 70% of health care providers claim that they regularly screen women for postpartum depression but those figures are way overblown. The same study found that in actuality, less than 18% of providers are using a reliable postpartum depression screening tool. Another clip, appearing in Parents Magazine (from North Carolina Medical Journal) relates that 79% of doctors said that, “They’re unlikely to formally screen new mothers for depression.”
- During pregnancy is one of the best times to fight off depression. Don't wait until you have your baby to make positive changes.
- Music during pregnancy has been shown to help reduce depression.
- Antidepressants can affect your baby negatively, but you should still discuss them with your doctor or midwife if you're feeling severely depressed because the pros can outweigh the cons.
- During the pregnancy and postpartum period exercise can help reduce depression.
- After you give birth, make sure you get plenty of relaxation.
- Almost all new mamas have little breakdowns - know the difference between common stress and real depression.