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FC Home Symptoms & Warning Signs Depression & Pregnancy

DEPRESSION & PREGNANCY | Print |

Below is information that has been re-printed from WebMD (www.webmd.com) on  depression and pregnancy.   If you are concerned that you, or someone that you know, may have a problem with depression, please call the Fulton County Department of Behavioral Health & Developmental Disabilities at (404) 613-3675.   Our Behavioral Health Access & Information Line is available Monday thru Friday from 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM.   If you need assistance after those hours, please call the Georgia Crisis & Access Line at 1-800-715-4225.  

THE IMPACT OF DEPRESSION ON PREGNANCY

Pregnant woman

According to WebMD, the potential impact of depression on a pregnancy includes the following:

  • Depression can interfere with a woman's ability to care for herself during pregnancy. ¬† She may be less able to follow medical recommendations and to sleep and eat properly.
  • Depression can cause a women to use substances such as tobacco, alcohol, and/or illegal drugs, which could harm the baby
  • Depression can make bonding with the baby difficult
  • Pregnancy may have the following impact on depression in women:
  • The stresses of pregnancy can cause depression or a recurrence or worsening of depression symptoms
  • Depression during pregnancy can increase the risk for having depression after delivery (called postpartum depression).

WHAT ARE MY OPTIONS IF I'M DEPRESSED DURING PREGNANCY?  

Preparing for a new baby is hard work.   But your health should come first.   Resist the urge to get everything done, cut down on your chores, and do things that will help you to relax.   In addition, talking about things that concern you is very important.   Talk to your friends, your partner, and your family.   If you ask for support, you will find you often get it.

If all else fails and you are still feeling down and anxious, consider seeking therapy.   Ask you doctor or midwife for a referral to a mental health care professional.  

TREATING DEPRESSION IN WOMEN DURING PREGNANCY

According to WebMD, growing evidence suggests that many of the currently available antidepressant medicines are safe for treating depression during pregnancy, at least in terms of the potential short-term effects on the baby.   Long-term effects have not been properly studied.   You should discuss the possible risks and benefits with your doctor.

HOW IS POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION IN WOMEN TREATED?

Postpartum depression, or depression following childbirth, can be treated like other forms of depression.   That means using medicines and/or psychotherapy.   If a woman is breast feeding, the decision to take an antidepressant must be made with her doctor.

DOES THE PREVALENCE OF DEPRESSION IN WOMEN INCREASE AT MIDLIFE?

Newborn baby

Perimenopause is the stage of a woman's reproductive life that begins 8 to 10 years before menopause.   During this time, the ovaries gradually begin to produce less estrogen.   Perimenopause lasts up until menopause, the point when the ovaries stop releasing eggs.   In the last one to two years of perimenopause, the decrease in estrogen accelerates.   At this stage, many women experience menopausal symptoms.

The drop in estrogen levels during perimenopause and menopause triggers physical and emotional changes - such as depression or anxiety and changes in memory.   Like at any other point in a woman's life, there is a relationship between hormone levels and physical and emotional symptoms.  

COPING WITH THE  SYMPTOMS OF MENOPAUSE

Woman

According to WebMD, there are many ways you can ease menopause symptoms and maintain your health.      These tips include ways to cope with mood swings, fears and depression:

  • Avoid tranquilizers
  • Eat healthfully & exercise regularly
  • Engage in a creative outlet or hobby that fosters a sense of achievement
  • Find a self-calming skill to practice - such as yoga, meditation, or slow, deep breathing
  • Keep your bedroom ¬†cool to prevent night sweats and ¬†disturbed sleep
  • Seek emotional support from friends, family members, or a professional counselor when needed
  • Stay connected with your family and community, and nurture your friendships ¬†
  • Take medicines, vitamins, and minerals as prescribed by your doctor
  • Take steps such as wearing loose clothing to stay cool during hot flashes

GET HELP

Physician

If you are experiencing feelings of depression, please call the Fulton County Department of Behavioral Health & Developmental Disabilities at (404) 613-3675.   Our Behavioral Health Access & Information Line is available Monday thru Friday from 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM.   If you need assistance after those hours, please call the Georgia Crisis & Access Line at 1-800-715-4225.

 

 

 

 
 

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