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How to Cope With Depression During Pregnancy


Pregnancy can be a joyous time, filled me the hopeful anticipation of meeting your child for the first time. It can also be a dark, frightening time, marked by deep depression. For some women, it may be worse than for others, but all should know how to cope with depression during pregnancy.

The most important thing to realize is that depression is a biochemical imbalance, and so is not entirely avoidable, any more than a cold or a broken bone is. But as with those, there are steps you can take to speed the healing process. These may include the following:

  • Manage your commitments and workload. It is very tempting to try to pack as much activity as you can into the months before the baby arrives, but this can leave you feeling burned out and depressed. True, you won't have as much time for chores when the baby gets here, but you also won't have as much time to look after yourself, so take that time now. Spend a day at the spa or just curl up with a book. Spending time on yourself now will help you and your baby.
  • Talk through your feeling. It is essential that you voice your fears and concerns about the pregnancy process. It is an inherently stressful time, and no one will fault you for being apprehensive. Find a trusted friend or family member and vent. If none of these will work, speaking to a mental health professional is a good option. In addition to providing a nonjudgmental ear, these people can put you in touch with other resources that may help ease your depression.
  • Actively work on your stress-handling techniques. It's easy and natural to get stressed out, but you need to find ways of managing that stress. This can be as simple as taking short breaks from activities as you go about your day, participating in an exercise activity, or focusing on eating well. Additionally, studies have shown that yoga and meditation are especially helpful for women who find themselves stressed during pregnancy, and you may be able to find an expectant mothers class nearby.
  • Lean on your partner. The relationship you have with that person can and should be the strongest point of support during this process. As you grow together as parents, you will face many of the same joys and pressures. Take this opportunity, too, to share the experience. Your partner will be able to help you maintain perspective and cope with stress, and sharing your feelings will help to include that partner in the process of pregnancy. Understanding how to cope with depression during pregnancy should be a team project.
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