Some natural remedies for depression during pregnancy can include exercise, bathing in mild sunshine, talk therapy, maintaining a daily journal, pursuing a hobby, surrounding oneself with positive and fun people, listening to good music, prayer, eating healthy food, getting enough sleep, etc.
Pregnancy is a stage in life; every woman looks forwards to and celebrates. Her body, carrying a new life changes not how she looks, but so many other facets too. There are certain chemicals in action that bring about these changes. Like other parts of the anatomy, the chemicals in the brain are also affected during pregnancy and sometimes they can trigger anxiety and depression causing mood swings and depression in pregnant women.
Source: Med Upenn Edu
Symptoms of Depression in Pregnant Women
The main symptoms that an expecting mother is depressed are:
- Mood swings – quick change in tempers and moods. From happiness to sudden anger. From calmness to a change to sadness for no reason.
- Change in sleep pattern – Depression or anxiety may cause little or no sleep in pregnant ladies. Or the other extreme, i.e., excess sleep is also an indication of depression.
- Lack of enthusiasm – being in a state of lethargy and inability to go about one’s daily chores. Brooding for long hours when there are things that need to be done.
- Thoughts of death, suicide – In extreme cases an expecting mother may have thoughts of suicide and death.
- Feeling of worthlessness – A pregnant woman may think she is worthless even though she is in the most important phase of her life, carrying her baby.
- Change in eating habits – Even though the physical conditions demand healthy eating, a depressed pregnant woman may neglect eating nutritiously. May opt for junk food.
The reasons that may cause pregnancy induced are many,
- Family history of depression.
- Lack of attention from the partner.
- Trauma or an accident.
- Lack of rest.
- Complications in pregnancy
- Problems or loss in previous pregnancies.
Depression during pregnancy has to be recognized early and treated for the health of both mother and the baby. A happy mother will have a positive effect on her unborn child’s growth while a depressed mom can lead to a baby who is malnourished or born before term. There is anti-depressant medication available that claim to be safe during pregnancy. But natural remedies are always the best option to combat depression in expecting mothers.
11 Natural Remedies for Depression During Pregnancy
These simple, natural remedies are not only harmless but also great mood elevators.
1. Exercise – The important symptom of depression is lethargy or inactivity. To bring about a change in this condition, exercise is hands down the best remedy. Exercise not only improves blood circulation in the body, but also in the brain. Endorphin flow is increased bring about a ‘feel good’ factor in the mother. Simple exercises like Yoga and walking are great mood elevators. Even breathing exercises can help calm the mind and reduce anxiety.
2. Sunshine – A walk outdoors in the mild sunshine warms the heart and mind. Being one with nature and the sunshine brings on a bright temperament. A walk in the sun also gives us our daily dose of vitamin D and contributes to the bone growth of the baby.
3. Talk Therapy – Talking about your condition with a therapist or a close friend helps in venting out negativity and calms the mind. So it is better to find an outlet to the emotions rather than bottling it up and suffer.
4. Keep a diary – If there are no good friends with whom you feel comfortable enough to talk, it is best to find an outlet by penning your emotions. You may address it to your baby sharing what you are going through. This will not only reduce depression, but also helps you bond with the unborn baby. This new found bonding brings happiness.
5. Develop or pursue a hobby – Keeping herself occupied in positive deeds is very important for an expectant mother. If you have a favorite hobby like painting or reading books, this is a good time to pursue.
6. Surround yourself with positive people – A happy state of mind can be kindled with being around the right people. Meeting friends and family who can cheer you up and make you smile helps in eliminating negative feelings. Laughter and pep talk are essential anti-depressants.
7. Music – Music is a powerful medium to bring about positivity. Listening to good music can bring about a happy state of mind also evoke calmness.
8. Prayer – Praying and visits to places of worship always, have a peaceful effect on the mind. It not only calms the nerves, but also strengthens the mind.
9. Eating healthy – Good food is always sets a mood right. So eating right and eating healthy for a pregnant woman is very essential. The nutritious food will not only nourish the mind, but also the body and the little life taking shape within. When the baby’s growth is good, it is happy news for the mother.
10. Sleep – Cultivating a habit of sleeping on time and getting enough sleep is a great way to reduce depression. A well-rested mind frets less and stays calm.
11. Supplements – Food supplements like Omega3 Fatty Acids are great anti-depressants. A supplement of cod liver oil or walnuts will provide this plus brown rice, cabbage, whole-grain oats all help in fighting depression.
Pregnancy is a crucial period for both mother and child. The responsibility and onus is on the mother to see that her baby has an overall healthy growth. For this, the mother, not only has to take care of her physical health, but also the mental well being.
When an expectant mother is in depression, it is better to stay away from anti-depressant medicines as they might have a negative side effect on the unborn baby. The natural remedies are the best investment during pregnancy for a happy state of mind and a well nourished baby.