Q:

How do you cope with prenatal depression?

A:

Quick Answer

According to Kate Rope for Parents magazine, women can seek treatment for their prenatal depression through the use of antidepressant medications and cognitive behavioral therapy. Light therapy and acupuncture are alternative treatments known to reap positive benefits. Eating foods high in omega-3 essential fatty acids is also known to combat depression.

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Full Answer

As Rope explains, symptoms of depression a woman experiences during pregnancy match many symptoms that are simply characteristic of pregnancy itself, which sometimes makes it difficult for practitioners to diagnose a classic case of prenatal depression. Symptoms include disrupted sleep, loss of appetite, lack of interest in hobbies and social activities, decreased energy and feelings of hopelessness.

According to Rope, these symptoms are exacerbated and women are at an increased risk of developing prenatal depression if they have a family member with the same condition, are under the age of 20, are experiencing difficulties in their marriage or are having trouble with money. Stress is a common risk factor for pregnant women, and situations related to family frustrations, divorce, living alone and lacking a strong social support system are likely to send a woman's emotions spiraling. It is important for a mother to seek treatment for depression, because it can adversely affect her unborn child and result in an early delivery or low birth weight.

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