Awareness of postnatal depression has grown over the last few decades and there is greater understanding and recognition of the symptoms and the consequences. Advances are by no means perfect, but mechanisms put in place for new mothers are effective and continually improving.
Nevertheless, depression also manifests in 12% of pregnancies and is far more debilitating than hormonal mood swings and the contemplation of becoming responsible for another tiny human life with all the momentous expectations and changes becoming a parent bring to the fore.
Excessive worry and catastrophizing about the birth or anxiety about looking after your new baby which can, in turn, lead to a lack of sleep, is not the normal apprehension over such a life-changing event. If you are experiencing overwhelming emotions of fear, anger, irritability, and tears or feeling completely numb and having no interest in yourself or your pregnancy it could be hormonal or it could be depression and it is imperative to get help. Make an appointment with your healthcare professional or reach out to your partner or nearest friends or family and disclose your feelings.
Pregnancy doesn’t just cause enormous changes to your body that can be difficult to address, your hormones are visiting every ride in Disneyland! You feel nauseous one minute and ecstatically happy the next. Brain fog has fun with your daily activities from filling the kettle with milk and putting clean laundry in the fridge and that’s all on top of the physical changes going on all over your body.
Next is the psychological impact of coming to terms with being pregnant. It’s huge, growing another person in your own body! The changes to your shape in the context of a world that insists we all conform to a perfect body shape; clothes that don’t fit; constantly feeling sick; living in a kind of limbo of no drinking or buying pretty new clothes and sometimes a feeling of being invaded. Then the third-trimester hits and you wear your food on the front of your outfit and do a great impression of a beetle on its back trying to get out of bed every morning
Most people struggle with fear of major change in their lives and becoming a mother is at the top of the scale, no matter how much a baby is wanted, the physical effects can all add to feeling frustrated, resentful, and guilty about feeling frustrated and resentful. You may feel anger at the way your life is going to change or isolated if you are doing it alone. Previous difficulties with pregnancy, relationship issues or fretting over finances and a settled home will all contribute to your lack of mental wellbeing.
Talk about it. Explain to your midwife or doctor how you are feeling, they are there to support you and your baby. Tell loved ones and give everyone around you the opportunity to support you. That is probably the most significant thing you can do to help yourself.
If you do feel able, you or ask your network to explore what is available to help you manage your feelings.
There are lots of practical activities to keep it at bay such as walking, mild exercise, participating in all antenatal care available, etc. Some antidepressants can be taken in pregnancy, but drug-free therapies such as TMS therapy Los Angeles are available and proving very effective treatment for anxiety and depressive disorders.
If you’re local to the Los Angeles area, visit the address or call the number below to find out more about TMS Therapy:
New Dawn TMS Psychiatry
640 S San Vicente Blvd, Ste 210,
Los Angeles, CA 90048-4654
If you live somewhere else, help is available, do not suffer alone.