What Causes Depression in Pregnancy?

Depression in Pregnancy – Causes

Depression in pregnancy may occur because of psychosocial or biological factors. However, what causes depression in pregnancy greatly differs among would-be moms.

Several factors that cause depression in pregnancy may go unnoticed without correct information. Understanding the root causes of pregnancy depression is an essential step towards getting effective solutions.

That’s why this guide presents all the crucial details about what causes pregnancy depression. Relying on information about risk factors and preventive steps towards combating depression in this article will also prove useful.

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Causes of Pregnancy Depression

Pregnancy depression can occur due to biological, social, and psychological factors. These factors can also determine the extent of depression would-be moms experience during pregnancy.

Biological, Hormonal Factors

Depression can sometimes be hereditary and run for several generations across families.

Studies have shown that a certain number of genetic traits may be prone to anxiety and depression. Further research also shows that other strains can be resistant to such genetic traits.

If a pregnant woman chooses to remain in an environment where traits of depression are dominant, it could reduce their level of resistance. Maintaining healthy social relationships is an effective way to build resilience against symptoms of depression.

Other biological factors that might cause pregnancy depression include:

  • Pregnancy complications
  • Peri-menopause issues
  • Menstrual problems

These elements can make pregnancy depression more likely. Some of these issues can trigger significant hormone imbalances and stifle reproductive processes.

In other cases, health problems that might cause severe illness can increase the impact of these biological factors.

Social Factors

Women react differently to several events men may comfortably handle. A woman’s relationship and lifestyle choices, coping skills, etc. can easily take a toll on their mental health.

Women are prone to depression and anxiety caused by the following factors:

  • Work-life imbalance
  • Money problems
  • Stressful events
  • Relationship or marital trouble
  • Loss of loved ones, etc.

A pregnancy occurring in the middle of any event listed above could cause severe depression.  Reclusion can set in and cause expectant mothers to develop multiple symptoms of acute depression.

Other factors that could contribute to increase depression risks during pregnancy are:

  • Job loss
  • Sexual abuse as a child
  • Domestic abuse as a child
  • The use of some medications with harmful side effects
  • Pre-existing mood disorder problems
  • The loss of a parent at an early age

Social factors that can cause depression are usually very difficult to spot alone. Expectant mothers should consult qualified practitioners for thorough diagnoses to determine the main cause of depression.

Consulting a qualified medical practitioner will help identify the major symptoms of pregnancy depression and its risk factors.

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Psychological Factors

Women could react to psychological issues that might cause significant depression during pregnancy. Females are emotional and may dwell on some challenging thoughts throughout every bout of depression.

Rumination about depression might make it worse and cause several severe symptoms to develop. Depression induced by stress and low physical appeal are also linked to psychological factors.

Consulting an experience psychologist or psychotherapist might prove crucial towards identifying these psychological factors.

Risk Factors for Pregnancy Depression

Depression in pregnancy can affect any woman. However, some women are at greater risk of suffering from depression than others. Women are prone to depression if they:

Already struggle with depression and anxiety – women already suffering from symptoms of anxiety and depression stand a greater risk of developing more related issues during pregnancy.

Experience difficulty during pregnancy – women who experience complications during pregnancy are at higher risk of suffering from depression and anxiety. Expectant mothers who have had to deal with several miscarriages in the past may also experience some symptoms of depression.

Currently deal with a significant stressor – stressful events like grief, caring for the aged or violence can increase the risk of depression in pregnant women.

Have any thyroid condition – thyroid hormones regulates the storage and use of energy from food.

Thyroid hormone problems could cause significant fluctuations that can derail its ability to regulate energy. Depression is a common result of some thyroid conditions and could be much worse during pregnancy.

Have an unplanned pregnancy – would-be moms who didn’t plan to have a baby are at higher risk of developing symptoms of depression.

Drink alcohol, smoke, or use drugs – expectant moms who abuse alcohol, smoke, or abuse drugs are at greater risk of suffering from depression. Total abstinence from alcohol, smoking and drug use significantly reduces risks of depression symptoms during pregnancy.

Suffer from diabetes – gestational and existing diabetes can cause multiple symptoms of depression in pregnant women.

Are victims of sexual, domestic, or physical abuse – pregnant women who are victims of abuse in any form can easily experience multiple symptoms of depression.

Don’t have social support or reliable partners – going through a pregnancy without enough social support can cause depression. Not having a partner throughout the gestation period also increases the risks of developing symptoms of depression.

How to Prevent Depression during Pregnancy

Soon-to-be moms can reduce or eliminate the risk factors of depression with easy steps like:

  • Limiting stressors – reducing workload, avoiding stressful events, getting more rest, etc.
  • Living healthy – eating balanced diets for pregnancy, avoiding unhealthy drinks and foods, etc.
  • Socializing – interacting with family and friends more often to avoid isolation
  • Consulting – reaching out to doctors whenever any concerns arise about your mental state during pregnancy

Adopting these steps makes it easy to prevent depression symptoms before completing the pregnancy’s term.

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Identifying what causes depression in pregnancy is vital. Doctors must understand the root cause of depression symptoms to recommend effective solutions.

Locating the ideal risk factors and causes of depression informs correct prescription of medications. Doctors also rely on such information to recommend non-pharmaceutical methods to combat depression.

Seek the guidance of a qualified care practitioner at several stages of your pregnancy for adequate assistance.

Your local midwife or general practitioner should have the right training to detect symptoms of depression. Their recommend could prove vital to help you identify and eliminate the causes of pregnancy depression pre-term.

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Kelly W
Kelly W
Dream big, play hard, take the wins and embrace the losses.
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