Pregnancy Depression and its Effects on Baby

Pregnancy Depression and fetus brain development

Pregnancy depression is a serious issue and women find it difficult to handle, studies reveal that 10 percent of the pregnant women suffer from depression. Most of the symptoms are overlooked and this condition is often undiagnosed leading to serious mental problems and also have an impact on the fetus.

The symptoms of depression can appear slowly that include changing in eating habits (eating too little or too much), changes in sleep (sleeping too much or having trouble in sleeping), lack of energy, sad for no reason, feel like crying and loss of interest.  If these symptoms are ignored it will have an adverse effect on the newborn and the mother as well.

Health practitioners always advise women to be in a healthy and happy environment. This is the time your body prepares both mentally and physically for pregnancy. Moreover, your mood directly impacts the fetus. Depressed pregnant women are more likely to have aggressive kids.  It’s important to identify and treat depression during and after pregnancy to avoid severe consequences for both mother and the baby.

Pregnancy Depression can lead to

  • miscarriage
  • delivering babies prior to the due date (preterm babies)
  • delivering babies with low weight

Preterm and low weight babies need more attention and care. These babies may face complications and their survival becomes difficult.

According to studies babies delivered by the mother without depression have shown best results during the performing test of mental and motor abilities when compared to babies delivered by the depressed mother. The researchers say that the fetus brain has the ability to detect the mother’s mental state while in the womb and it has an impact on their brain development which is identified in later stages. Also, when these kids grow, they are more likely to develop neurodevelopment disorders and other mental illnesses.

Fetal activity like sleep pattern and movement are to a great extent influenced by mother’s mental state and the central nervous system development relies on mother’s mood. Babies have two sleep states namely active sleep and quiet sleep. In the active sleep state, the fetus move eyelids, body, breathe rapidly and grunt or cry on the other hand in the quiet sleep state the fetus move and breathe slowly. Fetuses of mothers with depression are identified to be in “quiet sleep” most of the time and also was found to be less active in “active sleep”.

It’s vital to diagnose the depression in pregnant women during the initial stages. Women who come across any mood swings and unusual change in eating and sleeping pattern should not hesitate to seek the help of the Health practitioner.

Pregnancy depression is treated in many ways that include medication, individual therapy, family therapy and social support. Each of the methods is useful in its own way and helps the mother to be to overcome the situation. Talking with a psychologist or qualified professional will comfort them. Pregnancy depression needs family support, especially life partner should be patient, understand the medical condition and spend time with the mother throughout to ensure a safe delivery.



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