Prepartum mental health is not talked about often if even at all publicly. I’m not trying to be a downer when it comes to pregnancy but I believe that this is a subject that should be talked about more. Most women I have spoken with recently had no idea that this was even a thing.
I have had to watch myself very carefully this pregnancy. Having 3 losses back to back sent me into a depression this past Spring and if I hadn’t been diagnosed and treated I would have no idea of what to look for. Because I have been incredibly sick this time around with what seems like no relief it has made me feel all sorts of bad emotions. A friend from church handed me a booklet on how to manage morning sickness and when I started to read it I couldn’t finish a certain page. It stopped me in my tracks because I realized just how much of it was me in those sentences.
“Many women with morning sickness feel depressed, stressed, isolated, frustrated, and complain of lack of energy. They often feel upset, lost, scared, and confused about how they feel and what they are experiencing. “ Taken from How to Survive Morning sickness successfully pg.7
This has 100% been me the past 6 months. There have been days where I just lock myself up in my room and not want to be around anyone. This was my first sign that I may be experiencing prepartum depression. I do not think that I am there just yet but I’m keeping a watchful eye on it along with keeping my husband informed on how I am feeling.
Here are a few things to watch for if you are currently pregnant and not feeling like yourself. Please note that this is not to replace medical advice. If you suspect you may be suffering from prepartum depression please contact your health provider.
Like I said above, I started to isolate myself. As soon as my husband came home I would have to retreat to my bedroom to just get away. I also was not wanting to go out and socialize like my normal self. I would make up excuses not to go out and if I did end up making plans I would back out of them the day before or even a few hours before.
2.) Easily Anxious
Depression changes your state in how you are able to deal with simple situations. This pregnancy has brought on a lot of anxiety because of the fear of another loss. Right now I find that if there is a lot of noise or decisions that have to be made, I am unable to make them. My mind gets overwhelmed and I have to leave the room to collect myself. It is even worse when I am out on my own with the kids in a crowded mall or store.
3.) Feelings of doubt in your life
This one might be a little harder to notice as we all struggle with this at some point. It is when it shifts to feelings that your family or friends would be better off if you weren’t around. Pregnancy can be very difficult for some not just because of morning sickness. There could be pain associated with past injuries that make you not functional like you used to be before you got pregnant. When you feel like you can’t contribute to the family that could bring on doubt.
4.) Easily Irritated
Again, another one that could be hard to track as pregnancy hormones can be a huge factor. It could just be hormones or it could be something bigger. If you are experiencing some of the symptoms above it could be prepartum depression.
These are just a few symptoms that could be a sign that something more is going on other than just regular pregnancy changes and hormones. Don’t doubt yourself if you feel like something else may be going on mentally. Talk with your partner and health care provider to better understand and distinguish if it is.
Take care of you mama and that precious babe!