Something strange has happened to me each and every time that I’ve been pregnant. The first time, I thought I was just going crazy. The second time, I thought I knew what it was. And this time, I am for certain that I struggle with this during and after pregnancy. I wish I could say that I realized it sooner in my journey, but this pregnancy has by far been the worst with it. And now I know enough to recognize what it is.
It sounds like a made up thing, right? Like I should be able to take a good long walk or a nice bubble bath and snap out of it right?
Depression in pregnancy is a mood disorder caused by all the raging hormones that are taking place within your body. The changes in hormones can directly affect moods and brain chemicals and can be made to seem more severe with certain life circumstances.
Well, I have silently (and not so silently within my inner circle of friends) struggled with this THE MOST this pregnancy. The list, according to the American Pregnancy Association, of signs of depression in pregnancy are:
- Persistent sadness
- Difficulty concentrating
- Sleeping too little or too much
- Loss of interest in activities that you usually enjoy
- Recurring thoughts of death, suicide, or hopelessness
- Feelings of guilt or worthlessness
- Change in eating habits
The ones that have hit me the hardest are: persistent sadness, difficulty concentrating, loss of interest in activities I usually enjoy, recurring thoughts of hopelessness, anxiety, feeling worthless, and change in eating habits.
So, that’s basically the entire list.
It’s been a massive struggle. I HAVE had more than one major life circumstance that has made all of these feelings magnify. And I have had days where I have not. stopped. crying. Some days I could tell you exactly why I was so upset. And others, I could not. I’ve experienced extreme mood swings of feeling overjoyed, and abundantly happy all the way to fuming made and very annoyed. But mostly, I’ve felt very, very sad.
Which is crazy because I am SO FREAKING EXCITED FOR THIS BABY GIRL TO COME IN FEBRUARY.
But still, it has been hard to control the mood swings and the deep sense of depression that I’ve felt.
And yes, my doctor is aware of all of this going on.
I’m not against medicine needed for these sorts of things, but I honestly just don’t want to go down that route if I can help it. I’m fortunate that I have an amazing husband who’s helped with SO much around the house and who has bent over backwards to help me, even if my requests are ridiculous. I have amazing friends and a community of people who always seem to know what I/we need, in the times we need it most and who have been SO supportive. I’ve tried eating healthy (which actually has been easy this pregnancy!), exercising, getting as much sleep as possible, avoiding stress and trying to focus on the positives in my life.
And it’s all helped, but it hasn’t been perfect.
So here’s my question. Are there any mamas out there that dealt with this when you were pregnant? And besides the obvious things that could help like medicine, sleeping more, exercise, and eating right, are there other things you did or tried that helped with pregnancy depression? I am almost 8 months pregnant, so I know the end is near. I just want to finish strong and try anything that will help my emotions, mood swings, and hormones to get under control more before baby girl arrives.
If you have any kind, helpful tips that won’t make me cry, I’d love to hear it!