How to deal with depression and anxiety during pregnancy?
We all have heard of post-partum depression, colloquially known as the ‘baby blues,’ but several studies have shown that depression and anxiety are more common during the actual pregnancy than after giving birth, including research recently published in The Scientific World Journal, which found that 70% of pregnant women are anxious, depressed, or both. Fortunately, yoga, exercise, and rest are among the available ways to cope with mood problems.
• A study by the University of Michigan concluded that a 10-week mindfulness prenatal yoga, integrating meditation and physical poses, was very helpful in lowering depression symptoms, relieving aches and pains, and soothing the mind of the pregnant women who participated in it.
• Getting a good night’s sleep –about 7 to 8 hours a night- is the best recipe for reducing anxiety. The problem is that anxiety is often the reason that pregnant women can’t get enough sleep. The solution might be to take a bath, read a book, meditate, or engage in similarly relaxing activities before going to bed.
• Speaking of relaxation, pregnant women can find plenty of peace of mind by knowing and understanding what her physiques and minds are going through, as long as they get the information first-hand from their doctors, and not from the Internet. A pregnant woman’s time is better spent doing something that brings her joy, instead of looking for further causes of concern.
• Not all pregnant women can lift weights in their 8th month –nor they probably should, for that matter. Nevertheless, being physically active at least 30 minutes four times per week can help to decrease depression, anxiety and fatigue symptoms.
• Depression usually leads to isolation, from which it will only get worse before it gets better. That’s why it’s so important to have a support network, whether it is the baby’s father, friends and family, or even an online forum. Most people underestimate the unburdening effect of simply talking about one’s feelings and emotions.
• If the symptoms of depression and anxiety do not subside with the above advice, and are so serious that they interfere with daily habits, then the pregnant woman should consider seeking professional counsel as well as pharmaceutical aid. In either case, a doctor should be consulted and his or her recommendations carefully followed.
Related Read: Does Exercise help with Depression and Anxiety?