If you suffered with depression before your pregnancy, chances are, you might very well suffer with it throughout the pregnancy as well. If it goes untreated, this depression can and will begin to affect your growing baby. Leaving depression untreated can result in:
- Low-Birthweight – A baby who is born weighing less than 5 pounds, 8 ounces is considered a low-birthweight baby. Untreated depression can and will affect your baby’s birthweight.
- Premature Birth – Suffering with the stress and anxiety of depression can cause your baby to be born prematurely.
- Baby Irritability – Your baby could be more irritable in general, as well as less active, attentive and with fewer expressions in general. This is far more common in moms who suffered depression during pregnancy and left it untreated.
Treating Depression During Pregnancy
The key element here is treatment. It is preferable to have a team of providers who can help treat your depression while you are pregnant. It is critical that all of your needed medical professionals know you are being treated for depression as well. It can and will greatly affect their treatment for you for any other number of issues you or your baby may need monitored during the pregnancy. Be sure your pre-natal care provider knows if you are being treated by a mental health care professional including a therapist, counselor, psychiatrist, or psychologist.
Treatment Options available to pregnant women include:
- Talk Therapy
- Support Groups
While taking antidepressants during pregnancy have shown that it can put your baby at risk for certain health conditions, if you have been on antidepressants long-term before your pregnancy, it can be critical to continue them while being monitored by your health care provider.
Ultimately, it will be the decision of you and your medical professional when it comes to which treatments you will accept as options during your pregnancy. The important part is for you to get through your pregnancy with a healthy baby and a healthy you.