Health and Fitness

Prenatal & Postnatal Depression in Mothers

Parenthood is a completely different and new chapter for every parent to be. Several new thoughts arrive along with new responsibilities. Bringing a new human being and taking care of its all well beings is not an easy task. All the expectant parents go through several emotional ups and downs during the entire period of pregnancy, even in post-pregnancy times also.

According to research studies, 1 out of 7 mothers experiences depression and anxiety during pregnancy and post-pregnancy times. Apart from huge physical changes, a mother goes through a wide range of emotional turmoil during the entire gestation period. Depression, anxiety, sorrow, insecurities, shortens self-confidence, and confusion; bother the new mother very much. The major cause behind these sufferings is a huge fluctuation in hormonal secretions. So, apart from her physical health; her mental health should be taken into the care of by the family members and friends, especially by the partner of the new mother.

What is Prenatal & Postnatal Depression?

Prenatal Depression: Prenatal depression, also known as antenatal or perinatal depression is a form of clinical depression. This kind of clinical depression affects pregnant mothers during pregnancy period.  If not treated properly, antenatal depression can be a precursor to postpartum depression also. According to latest data, 7% to 20% of pregnant women are affected by this condition, and by the times, the percentage of affected mothers is increasing.

Postnatal Depression: Postnatal depression is simply the depressive phase after the child birth. This is a common problem experienced by 1 out of 10 mothers within a year of giving birth. Fathers are also being affected by this. This common issue can be serious too if not treated on time. If you’re feeling seriously depressed then it is advised to take immediate help as the symptoms could last for several months or get worse.

What are the Symptoms of Prenatal Depression?

During pregnancy, a lot of changes to mood, diet pattern, and sleep cycle happen, and these are common. When these common traits become severe and affect day-to-day life that is when it is considered to be prenatal depression.

Symptoms of antenatal depression are:

  • Concentration Problem
  • Anxiety and Fear
  • Difficulty in Remembering
  • Feeling Emotionally Drained
  • Extreme irritated Mood
  • Excess or Inadequate Sleep
  • Extreme Fatigue
  • Low or Extremely high Appetite
  • Weight loss/gain unrelated to pregnancy
  • A sense of dread about everything, including the pregnancy
  • Feelings of failure, or guilt
  • Persistent sadness
  • Thoughts of suicide, or death (in extreme cases only)

Other symptoms can be observed such as the lack of excitement about the pregnancy, a feeling of disconnection with the baby, and an inability to feel a bond with the developing baby.

Symptoms of Postnatal Depression

In the first week after giving birth, several mothers feel emotional down, tearful or anxious about their present and upcoming days. This condition is generally called the “baby blues”, which is very much common.

This emotional status does not last for more than 2 weeks after giving birth. If these symptoms last longer or start later, that could have been postnatal depression.

Signs include:

  • A constant feeling of sorrow and loneliness
  • Lack of interest in enjoyments and communication
  • The feeling of tiredness all the time
  • Sleepy days and sleepless nights
  • Difficulty to look after yourself and your baby
  • Lack of concentration & decision-making power
  • Frightening thoughts – for example, about hurting your baby

How to deal with Prenatal & Postnatal Depression?

An open conversation with partner, family members, and friends is the basic effective step to be taken to cope with prenatal as well as postnatal depression. If the first step is not working, then medication, professional counseling therapy, and a combination of drug and talk therapy help the new moms to get rid of this situation.

Medications: Antidepressant drugs are the most common treatment. Doctors especially prescribe selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) to treat pre & postnatal depression.

Talk Therapy: Talk therapy has proven very effective for maternal depression. A professional counselor can help the new moms through several sessions of qualitative conversation.

Alternative Treatments: A few alternative treatments have also been proven as great methods in helping women with perinatal and postnatal depression. They include massage and especially acupuncture therapy.


Both prenatal and postnatal depression is becoming more common in today’s hustling lifestyle. Young mothers feel depressed and confused during and after their pregnancy, and there is no need to get panicked about this situation. A welcoming and healthy atmosphere in the house with proper care can prevent this crisis smoothly.

For more queries you can always consult with the best fertility expert in Siliguri.

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