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Are you just not enjoying pregnancy? Pregnancy can be hard for some women, but for others, they could be experiencing some prenatal depression. These are the warning signs you need to be mindful of.
It’s common to think of pregnancy as a time of hope, love, and joy — don’t we all?
However, for many women, it can be a time of grief, sadness, and anger; also known as prenatal depression.
Prenatal depression is common and is oftentimes underestimated. That said, yes, it can even happen to you!
The good news is, we will walk you through some of the warning signs your unenjoyable pregnancy goes beyond just the achy back or Braxton hicks contractions, but something deeper, like prenatal depression.
It’s crucial not to ignore the signs and symptoms. And it’s just as important to seek out appropriate help if you suspect you could be dealing with depression.
Not Enjoying Pregnancy – Could it be Prenatal Depression?
What is prenatal depression?
Prenatal Depression (also known as perinatal depression) is mental health disorder some mothers experience during their pregnancy.
It can be characterized by feelings of extreme sadness, anxiety, and even rage.
Unfortunately, prenatal depression isn’t exactly rare. In fact, around 10% of pregnant women will experience depression during their pregnancy.
Sometimes, women don’t even realize the warning signs that they’re going through a depression. While others recognize them but are too embarrassed and ashamed to tell anyone.
Common signs of prenatal depression:
Prenatal depression can sometimes be tricky to identify if you’ve never experienced these types of feelings before. With these signs, you can better identify if what you’re feeling could be related to prenatal depression or not.
Here are some of the most common signs of prenatal depression:
- Panic Attacks.
- Feelings of intense worry and anxiety.
- Feeling sad and/or hopeless.
- Not having or feeling control over your emotions.
- Rapid mood swings.
- Insomnia or difficulty sleeping.
- Racing thoughts.
If you are having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 for support from a trained counselor. If feel like you are in immediate danger, please call 911 right away.
Will not enjoying pregnancy be harmful to baby?
The act of not enjoying your pregnancy should not be harmful to your baby. However, being depressed or under any kind of emotional stress can.
I know you’re probably wondering how exactly can being depressed while pregnant affect your baby, so here’s a few examples:
- Some moms get so emotionally down that it physically makes them sick. This could make it difficult to gain weight during pregnancy and could possibly increase the risk for preterm delivery.
- On the contrary, some moms may turn to food as a coping mechanism. This could lead to unhealthy eating habits during pregnancy and not give the baby the best nourishment they need.
Treatment for Prenatal Depression
The good news is that depression can be treated. And if depression is the reason you aren’t enjoying your pregnancy, there’s a good chance you can turn that all around.
Therapy is typically the very first treatment method that will be suggested to you depending on your medical history and current situation.
If you’ve never been to therapy before, I promise it isn’t all that scary. In fact, it’s actually really nice & somewhat, calming.
If you’re worried about your insurance not covering your therapy treatment(s), don’t panic. You can look up Licensed Therapists on Psychology Today that specifically work with perinatal/postnatal mental health disorders and who work on a sliding scale (so their services are more affordable).
Your doctor or therapist may also suggest making some major lifestyle changes. This could include things like adjusting your diet and exercise,
The thing with therapy is that it takes time. You most likely won’t go into your first therapy session and feel like your problems are gone. It will take multiple sessions to eventually find that breakthrough, but boy, when it happens, it is so freeing.
Sometimes, therapy isn’t enough. Sometimes, it’ll be recommended for you to try medications for your depression/anxiety. Or you could do a combination of both.
The good news is that most medications used to treat perinatal depression greatly outweigh the risk of remaining untreated.
MotherToBaby is an excellent & trusted resource that provides evidence-based information on the safety of medications while pregnant and breastfeeding.
What Can I Do To Enjoy My Pregnancy?
1) Spend time bonding with your baby in utero.
It might seem strange or silly, but you can 100% develop a bond with your baby in utero.
If you’re struggling to feel that connection right now, don’t worry. Sometimes, it can simply take time. Pregnancy isn’t warm and fuzzy for each and every mom-to-be.
Ways you can try to create that bond with your little one as they’re growing in your belly could be:
- Read baby a book each night before bed. Place your hand on your belly, see if you can feel any movements as you’re reading.
- Put on some music, place your hands on your belly, and dance!
- Start filling out your baby’s memory book or pregnancy journal. Taking the time to sit with those thoughts while also thinking about the future with your bundle of joy can spark some heartfelt emotions.
- Take a relaxing bath and gently rub and feel your belly. Feel baby’s little growing body which will soon, be in your loving arms.
2) Understand prenatal depression & how it can be affecting your pregnancy.
It’s estimated that 1 out of every 10 women will experience depression. Prenatal depression occurs during pregnancy and can be triggered by many factors.
I always say — knowledge is power.
Arming yourself with an understanding of how prenatal depression could be hindering your pregnancy experience is so important. It’s the first step to identifying if you could be dealing with prenatal depression and the first step to seeking proper help or treatment.
3) Don’t let your pregnancy be the reason you stop living.
You’ve heard it before “be careful, you’re pregnant” or “you shouldn’t work out, you’re pregnant”.
Although there are firm precautions you should be taking while pregnant, it doesn’t mean you’re a fragile being who can’t do anything.
In fact, if you want to work out while pregnant (and have no known complications or medical reasons not to), check out the Juna Pregnancy Fitness App.
If you’re stuck in that “it’s hard to do fun things while being pregnant” mode, here’s an awesome list of fun & exciting things to do while pregnant!
If you’re not enjoying pregnancy, give some of the suggestions above a shot. And remember to pay attention to
If you or someone you know is showing signs of postpartum depression, give her support and encourage her to seek treatment.
You shouldn’t have to suffer alone and fight without help.
If you found yourself not enjoying pregnancy, did anything help? Share your tips in the comments!
Looking for more pregnancy support and tips? Check these out: