You just found out that you are carrying a bundle of joy. It’s most likely a blissful moment that you, your partner and your family members have been looking forward to for a long time.
Everyone is exultant for you and sure that you are elated and delighted as well, since you’re an expectant mother now. But, hey, wait. Even though the people around you are quite thrilled and doing everything to keep you at ease and happy, you are not feeling as happy as you should be.
Well, let’s reveal the facts. The myth is that pregnant ladies are protected from anxiety because of the hormonal changes. However, the bitter truth is, pregnancy hormones offer no protection against depression.
Statistics indicate that more than 10 percent of expectant mothers experience depression during pregnancy. Your child is your treasured wealth. You want to make sure that he or she remains happy in your womb.
Although depression during pregnancy is not an abnormal condition, it is important that you take care of your physical and mental health when you are carrying your child. This is because long-term feelings of depression can be harmful to both you and your unborn child.
So, if you are also one of those in the same boat, stop feeling guilty. You are not the only one to feel panicky and sad during your most awaited period. There are many women who struggle with the baby bump blues.
Here we have compiled some in-depth information and tips for pregnant mothers to help them remain blissful during the most wonderful period of their lives.
Follow us as we reveal more about baby bump blues, its causes, and ways for you to deal with it easily.
How to Know You Have the Baby Bump Blues
It can be difficult to recognize the symptoms of depression and anxiety during pregnancy. This is because most of the symptoms of pregnancy mirror normal depression symptoms.
According to doctors, most pregnant women normally have to deal with low energy levels, lack of concentration, changes in appetite, shortage of sleep, concerns regarding the health of the pregnancy, and fear of childbirth. All of these feelings are part of the normal reactions of the body and mind when a woman is pregnant.
However, the condition can become worrisome, particularly if a woman is experiencing persistent symptoms of anxiety and is unable to function normally. This is the time when you should seek the appropriate help.
Let’s list in detail the types of symptoms you may experience if you are suffering from those baby bump blues:
- You Feel Miserable: You feel low many times during your pregnancy. You are melancholy, miserable, and gloomy. You experience short-lived moments of ecstasy. However, these positive moments quickly vanish and your anxious state becomes more profound.
You are Irritated: You become irritated even at the drop of the hat. You are vexed when somebody inquires about your health. You are crabby, grouchy and tetchy with people around you. You even shrug off any physical contact from your loved ones.
- You are Always Tired: You easily feel drained and exhausted. Getting tired easily and feeling fatigued often are some of the common symptoms of pregnancy. However, it becomes a concern when you are unable to get enough sleep, despite being dead tired. This can be most exasperating. You then feed your brain with loads of negative emotions that make you feel more wretched as you lie awake.
- You Just Don’t Feel Hungry: You lose your appetite. Either you are so engrossed in your negative emotions that you forget to have your meals, or you never feel like munching at all. Also, when you eat, you eat only small portions and have little interest in food in general.
Low energy levels, piles of negative emotions, and a lack of food makes you feel awful. Even though you are aware of the fact that you should eat for yourself and your baby, you are not motivated to do anything about it.
- You Find Life Boring: You have no interest in enjoying even your favorite hobby. Things that made you happy earlier seem to derive annoyance now. Moreover, sex that once used to relax you and keep you glowing is your last priority. You are even reluctant to spend quality time with your partner, family and friends.
Why Are You Depressed During Pregnancy?
Researches are working hard to discover what exactly triggers depression during pregnancy. Nevertheless, doctors suggest there is a combination of things that could be responsible for the miserable mental state of some pregnant women.
Changing hormones, alteration of chemicals in the brain, and the persistent fear of childbirth are some of the factors to consider. Hormones are chemicals that are secreted by the body. These chemicals affect parts of the brain that control emotions and mood.
There are also risk factors that make some women more susceptible to depression than others. The presence of these risk factors definitely increases your chances of suffering from the baby bump blues.
Some of these risk factors include:
- You have suffered one or more major psychological health issues in the past.
- Someone in your family has had a mental disorder. This means you have a family history of mental illness.
- You have witnessed traumatic incidents in your life, such as your loved ones suffering from illnesses, or even the death of a loved one.
- Your relationship with your partner is stressful or on the verge of breaking apart.
- There is little support from your friends and family.
- You are dealing with financial issues.
- You are addicted to drugs, abuse alcohol or smoke excessively.
- You have had a troubled pregnancy. Serious morning sickness can take a toll on your emotional and physical health.
- You had experienced complications in your previous pregnancy.
- You had a traumatic childbirth experience before this pregnancy, which can contribute to your feelings of depression and anxiety.
- You have experienced difficulties while trying to get pregnant, or suffered a miscarriage earlier.
Why Getting the Right Treatment Is Essential
Women who are depressed during pregnancy are more likely to give birth to a child with lower birth weight and increased levels of cortisol.
Cortisol is a stress hormone that contributes to the feelings of depression and anxiety in an individual. Your depression can affect your child, even into adulthood.
Thus, having depressed feelings for the majority of the time during pregnancy may have a bad impact on your developing baby. Still, the majority of expectant mothers remain tongue-tied about their mental state.
The prevalent silence makes them feel even more melancholy and hopeless. Anxiety from being labeled as an incapable mother forces them to suffer from the baby bump blues in silence.
As already stated, it is a risky mental state for pregnant mothers. In fact, depression during pregnancy is one of the top reasons for triggering postpartum depression.
You should try to stop panicking. Yes, we know that you should be happy when you are pregnant, but, you are feeling weird and depressed. Be assured, pre-and postpartum depression is treatable with the right approach and appropriate treatment.
To get relief from the moderate baby bump blues, you need to make certain changes in your lifestyle. Your doctor may prescribe more vigorous treatments such as cognitive behavioral therapy, light therapy or antidepressant medicines for women dealing with the more acute forms of depression.
Read on for the steps you can take to make your pregnancy journey peaceful and relaxed.
Getting Help for Beating the Baby Bump Blues
There are a number of steps you can take to stay emotionally and physically sound when you are carrying the tiny one inside you. Some of the ways to lift your mood during grouchy days are listed below:
1. Cry, Talk And Listen
Keep the communication doors open. Cry, let your feelings out, and listen to your loved ones for advice and cheering words.
It’s important that you relate exactly what’s going on with you to your partner, family, or close friends. This is one of the best ways to overcome your baby bump blues.
When you discuss your mental state with your well-wishers, they will recommend ways for you to manage your stress. This can include minimizing your workload, and postponing any other major stressful incidents, such as moving house or starting a new job until after your baby arrives.
Discussing your baby blues with your partner is a great thing for you to do. When you connect with your partner on a regular basis regarding your pregnancy and health, he’ll understand your expectations and hopes. And surely he’ll try to make things easier and more manageable for you.
Your partner will also recognize the importance of his own approaching fatherhood. This will prevent any disappointments and resentments that could enter your relationship and escalate your depression further after the delivery.
2. Reaching Out For Emotional Support
When you are pregnant and fighting your mental state, choose your visitors carefully.
Try to spend time with those friends or family members whom you can trust. The right people can offer you wisdom and empathize with your situation. They will be ready to lend their ears when you need someone to listen to you.
Be ready to ask for support and comfort from your partner, family, and friends without being embarrassed. All pregnant women benefit from receiving emotional support and help when they are adjusting to the rampant pregnancy hormones.
If, unfortunately, good friends and neighbors do not surround you, join a support group. When you meet mothers with the same temperament as yourself when you are expecting, you won’t feel alone. You will immediately find yourself comfortable thinking that you are not the only one struggling during the time that was meant to be wonderful.
Interacting with fellow peers instills self-confidence in you and makes you feel more centered. You can freely share stories regarding your mental state, lack of sleep, fear of childbirth, and intrusive and non-supportive in-laws.
We are sure that with the right support, you’ll be better equipped to handle the emotional journey during your pregnancy safely and easily.
3. Munch Smart
When you are dealing with emotional upheavals during your pregnancy, it’s natural to feel tired and lethargic. On top of this, morning sickness and lack of hunger makes things worse.
When you are pregnant and feeling awful, it’s vital to eat wisely. Consume power foods that will keep you full and lift your mood. A diet that is based on plant-based foods works to increase your energy, support your health, and keep you happy.
Stay away from processed foods. Cut down on the hormone-laden foods such as meat, milk and cheese. Don’t binge on ice-cream every time you feel like indulging your sweet tooth. If you want to eat something sweet, strawberries with yogurt are a healthy substitute.
Moreover, eating foods that are rich in antioxidants will help to stimulate your immune system and strengthen it in order to make you ready to fight depressive feelings. Include plenty of fresh fruits, lean meats and vegetables in your diet, as they are a rich source of antioxidants.
Including protein rich foods such as fish, yogurt and beans to keep you alert and help you concentrate, as well. This will help you to take care of yourself during your pregnancy days without feeling tired and grumpy.
It’s important to know that a deficiency in any of the important minerals and vitamins during pregnancy can further exacerbate your mental health problems. A lack of proper fatty acids and carbohydrates also causes your body to work overtime for the development of the growing baby. This in turn leads to illness.
Ensure that you are taking your prenatal vitamins regularly. Specifically, adequate amounts of magnesium, zinc, iron and vitamins are essential. Your body needs extra calcium when you are nurturing the small fetus in your womb. Thus, also consider consuming plenty of beans, dried fruits, and broccoli to meet your needs for calcium.
Moreover, drinking enough water is important to help ward off the depressive feelings during pregnancy. Water cleanses your system and helps balance those raging hormones.
4. Just Chillax
The amount of sleep you get during your pregnancy affects your emotional well-being. When you wake up fresh, you feel more relaxed and contented. So, make certain that you are napping as frequently as possible. This will also help to preserve your energy.
Exercise is a mood enhancer. And, if you are motivated to shake your booty during your pregnancy, nothing else can be more beneficial. However, remember to be careful with your body. You should not attempt strenuous exercises.
Brisk walking in the sunshine is a great exercise that elevates your mood and keeps your spirits high. The sunlight helps with the production of vitamin D, which is essential for your baby. Try walking close to nature, so that you can encounter beautiful scenery and lovely vistas.
Breathing exercises have also been proven to clear your mental haziness. This is also a healthy way to nourish your growing fetus.
5. Be Positive In Negative Situations
Positive thinking and the right attitude to handle your pregnancy can have a profound effect on your health. Try saying positive affirmations such as “I am a happy mother,” and “I am a relaxed mom” throughout the day.
If you are dealing with major depression, psychotherapy can help. During the psychotherapy sessions, women are made aware of the importance of a healthy pregnancy. Additionally, they come to know the reasons that are causing depression.
Pregnancy is meant to be a special time for the family and the expectant mother. Every pregnant woman should be surrounded by a peaceful, comfortable and serene ambience. Yet, some may suffer from depression. Nevertheless, loving support and wise suggestions make women more confident in dealing with their pregnancy and depression.
Perhaps you may find it difficult some days. However, you need to remind yourself that you need to stay calm and unperturbed for your unborn baby. Cultivate faith in yourself and your family. If you practice a religion, lean on that at this challenging time. Before you know it, your baby will be in your arms, and you’ll feel happy and proud that you made it through your pregnancy blues.