Doctors routinely advise patients that mental health is equally, if not more important than physical health, especially for pregnant mothers. Fractures in a mother’s mental health, such as signs of stress, burnout, and especially depression directly affect mental health development within the newborn baby.
Depression is quite common among expecting mothers. About 13% of pregnant women experience mental health problems, and studies suggest Week 32 of the pregnancy is the most common time for mental troubles. Women who have a personal or family history of depression are more likely than other mothers to experience emotional plight.
Depression during pregnancy can increase the baby’s risk of developing behavioural problems later on in life. The condition may also affect the mother’s ability to bond with her child. As a result, it is important for expecting mothers to take great care in maintaining their mental health.
There are some key signs that partners and family members of pregnant women should look out for. Feelings of hopelessness and overwhelming sadness are common symptoms of depression, but there are some physical symptoms as well. Excessive fatigue, sleeplessness, insomnia and loss of appetite are all common signs of depression.
If you or a family member recognizes the symptoms and suspects the condition, it is important to see your doctor immediately. There is insufficient conclusive evidence to prove that taking antidepressant medication is safe for pregnant mothers, and many doctors recommend various forms of therapy to help make you healthy again. However, if the condition worsens or the therapy is ineffective, antidepressants may be prescribed.