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HEALTHIER YOU: Pregnancy and Mental Health

June 11, 2023 by  
Filed under Health

DR. ANNETTE MAYES

BY DR. ANNETTE MAYES, OB/GYN

Pregnancy and a new baby can bring a range of emotions. In fact, many women feel overwhelmed, sad, or anxious at different times during their pregnancies and even after the baby is born. 

For many women, these feelings go away on their own. But for some women, these emotions are more serious and may stay for some time. 

Depression and anxiety that happen during pregnancy or anytime during the first year after the birth of your baby are medical conditions. These feelings are not caused by the mother. And they can be treated if you seek help. 

Depression —feeling sad, empty, and/or “down” — and anxiety — feeling nervous, worried, and/or scared — are serious medical conditions involving the brain and may occur during pregnancy or after birth. These feelings go beyond what people may experience when they have a bad day or are nervous about an upcoming event. They are also more than just “feeling moody” or having the “baby blues.” 

Depression and anxiety may get in the way of everyday activities — like taking care of yourself and your baby. They are long lasting and won’t go away on their own. But they are treatable, which is why it’s important to get help. 

Postpartum depression is one term you might hear for depression and anxiety that happen during and after pregnancy. But it might not be the best way to describe what women feel. The word “postpartum” means “after birth,” so “postpartum depression” is talking only about depression after the baby is born. 

For many women, this term is correct: they begin feeling depression sometime within the first year after they have the baby. But research shows that some women start to feel depression while they’re still pregnant. You might hear the term “perinatal depression” to describe this situation. The word “perinatal” describes the time during pregnancy or just after birth. 

Researchers believe that depression is one of the most common problems women experience during and after pregnancy. 

For more information, call Las Vegas All Women’s Care at (702) 522-9640. Or visit us at 700 Shadow Lane #165 in Las Vegas.

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