How To Overcome Depression During Pregnancy And Postpartum

how to overcome depression during pregnancy

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Most women expect the good news of pregnancy, one of the happiest moments of their life. However, pregnancy brings not only happiness but also confusion. First-time moms may experience stress, fear, and even depression during and after pregnancy. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) showed that about 14 to 23% of women find it difficult to over depression and emotional disorders during their pregnancy. Many moms also experience depression after pregnancy (postpartum depression).

Depression, a mood disorder, can affect any people at some points during their life. First-time moms are prone to depression and stress. Unfortunately, depression during (after) pregnancy is usually not diagnosed properly because they are commonly confused with hormonal imbalance.

Depression during pregnancy and postpartum is caused by the changes in brain chemistry. Pregnancy results in hormonal changes that have effects on brain chemicals. It is a reason why pregnancy women, especially the first time moms, are prone to depression and other mood disorders.

It is important for you to notice the pregnancy signs and symptoms, including difficulty concentrating, persistent sadness, sleep deprivation or sleep too much, fatigue, the continuous thought of suicide, hopelessness, and even death, changes in eating habit, feeling of worthlessness or guilt and anxiety. Depression affects your mood and health. But untreated depression during pregnancy and postpartum have effects on newborn babies. Pregnant women with depression often have suicide behavior, smoke, drink too much wine, and suffer from nutrient deficiencies give birth to babies with premature birth, development problems, and low birth weight. A mom who struggles with depression during pregnancy and postpartum loses her ability to care for herself and her babies.

Newborn babies whose mothers are depressed or stressed may become inactive, lack of concentration and be more agitated. Therefore, it is important for you to know how to overcome depression during pregnancy and postpartum.

How To Overcome Depression During Pregnancy And Postpartum – Useful Techniques For Pregnant Women

You should find out the particular triggers of depression during pregnancy and postpartum, which helps you look for useful treatments and prevention easily. The causes of depression during pregnancy and postpartum include relationship problems, infertility treatments, personal or family history of depression, previous pregnancy loss, history of trauma or abuse, complications of pregnancy and stressful events during the life. If you expect pregnancy but worry about depression and mood disorder effects, this article about useful techniques and tips on how to overcome depression during pregnancy and postpartum can help you. Moreover, there are many articles related to pregnancy health on You can find more if you want.

1. Exercise

depression during pregnancy - exercise

If you care about both your physical health and mental health during pregnancy, you should not skip exercise routine. Exercise is effective in maintaining your good health and lifting your mood. It is not surprising when exercise can prevent and treat depression during pregnancy and postpartum. When you undergo stress and fear due to pregnancy, your body may release the high levels of hormones such as adrenaline, cortisol, and noradrenaline. Depression harms pregnant women and unborn babies because it increases the risk of headaches and high blood pressure.  Exercise can manage stress and emotion because of these following reasons:

  • Boost the release of feel-good chemicals in your brain, including serotonin and endorphins
  • Get rid of anxious thoughts when you pay attention to the exercise
  • Improve the quality of your sleep that plays the important role in managing stress and ensuring the development of an unborn baby
  • Provide more energy

If you are pregnancy, you should not perform the heavy exercise. Recommended exercises for pregnant women include walking, jogging, swimming, plie, plank, curl and lift, and one-arm row.

Read more: 10 Shocking & Interesting Facts About Exercise You Don’t Know 

2. Light Therapy

Pregnant women can look for light therapy to overcome depression during pregnancy and prevent postpartum depression. Light therapy is believed to reduce the symptoms of depression by affecting brain chemicals associated with sleep and mood. Moreover, light therapy can treat sleep disorder and other issues due to pregnancy. Doing light therapy, you have to sit near a light therapy box that gives you bright light like a natural outdoor light.

Read more: 18 Health And Beauty Benefits Of Yogurt Consumption

3. Acupuncture

Acupuncture that is originated from Eastern medicine has become an increasingly popular technique for depression during pregnancy and postpartum. Acupuncture can improve the blood flow and circulation. Inserting needles at some specific body points is effective in facilitating the blood circulation. Moreover, this method also helps produce and stimulate painkilling chemicals in your nervous system. It enhances the body’s natural ability to cure damages and control emotions such as stress and anxiety. Therefore, talking about useful tips on how to overcome depression during pregnancy and postpartum – a common disease, you should not ignore acupuncture. Before taking acupuncture, you should discuss a potential and suitable treatment plan and find a professional acupuncturist.

4. A Healthy Diet

depression during pregnancy - a healthy diet

A healthy diet plays the important role in ensuring the pregnant women’s health and proper development of unborn babies. Moreover, a healthy diet also protects the mental and physical health of pregnant women. Some unhealthy foods result in mood disorders while certain good foods elevate your mood. If you want to find the beneficial methods for relieving depressing during pregnancy and postpartum depression, you should pay attention to your diet. According to Natural News, five recommended foods include brewer’s yeast, cabbage, whole-grain oats, brown rice and omega-3s rich foods.

  • Eat foods high in folate, essential nutrients, and vital vitamins: Folate can be found in foods such as boiled broccoli, spinach, beans, and wheat germ. Pregnant women should not skip the morning breakfast. For healthy breakfast, you can eat cereals and drink tomato or orange juice fortified with folic acid. Vitamin B6, B12 vitamin D, iron, and calcium are essential for pregnancy. Animal products and many bowls of cereal are good sources of vitamin B6. Low-fat yogurt is a great source of calcium and vitamin D. You can increase vitamin B12 intake by consuming garbanzo beans, bananas, chicken breasts and baked potatoes. Add lima, kidney, lentils, and beans into your diet to get enough iron.
  • Look for omega-3s: Fatty acids called omega-3s can stimulate feel-good chemicals and lift your mood. Omega-3s is effective in fighting depression and stress. You can increase omega-3s by eating fatty fish, milk, yogurt and eggs

It is important for you to develop a good diet plan if you are pregnant.

5. Sleep

Depression during pregnancy may affect the quality of sleep. However, it is still important for you to sleep enough 8 hours per day especially when you are pregnant. Sleep deprivation can worsen your mood and harms the development of your unborn baby.

Studies have found out the close relationship between poor sleep and depression during pregnancy.

You should find a suitable sleeping position. Some doctors advised the pregnant women to sleep on their left side. That reduces the pressure of the baby’s weight to the vein and keeps your heart function more easily. Moreover, sleeping on the left side also boosts the circulation to your heart and ensures the good blood flow to the uterus, fetus, and kidney. Discuss with your doctor if you find difficulty sleeping.

Read more: 10 Best Natural Home Remedies For Sleep Apnea 

6. Talking It Out

Pregnant women may experience the fear, worry, and confusion. Some people who have the previous loss of pregnancy feel extremely anxious. If you have those negative emotions and thoughts, why do not you talk it out with your family and your friends? One of the best home remedies for stress and depression is talking. You should address the triggers of depression during pregnancy such as family issues, personal experience, previous trauma or abuse, or loneliness. You should talk with your friends and your family about these issues. Although maybe they cannot give any possible solutions for you, they are good listeners. It is important for you to know that whenever you want a useful help, your family and your friends always stay beside you.

If your depression during pregnancy and postpartum is caused by a person such as your husband, parents in law or relatives, you should not stop discussing it through with the person who is like “stressor”. Talking it through with the person and finding the best way to deal with it are the effective techniques on how to overcome depression during pregnancy and postpartum depression. It is necessary to share your burdens with someone you trust especially when you are pregnant.

Read more: 24 Health Benefits Of Positive Thinking Attitude In The Workplace 

7. Sunshine

If you are in pregnancy or after giving birth, it is recommended enjoying a walk outdoors. The mild sunshine and natural outdoor light can warm your heart and elevate your mood. Emerging in the sunshine can give you the bright temperament. Moreover, the sunshine is necessary for the proper development of an unborn baby because the sunshine is a great source of vitamin D that plays the important role in boosting the bone growth of your baby.

8. Keeping A Diary

Do you want to share your happy moments with your unborn or newborn baby? You should keep a diary and write every moment on it. It seems the meaningful thing. However, the benefits of keeping a diary are more than that. It is one of the effective techniques on how to overcome depression during pregnancy and postpartum depression. A diary can become your friend and give you the feeling of comfortable. It is recommended sharing with your babies what you are experiencing. It not only gets rid of depression during pregnancy and postpartum depression but also created a tight bonding between a mom and her baby. This bonding makes you feel happy.

9. Pursuing A Favorite Hobby

depression during pregnancy - pursuing a favorite hobby

If you experience the stress and depression during pregnancy and want to find the effective ways to deal with it, you should keep yourself occupied in happy positive activities. Doing and pursuing some good hobbies can distract yourself from depression, stress and negative thoughts. Staying at home and doing nothing may make pregnant women feel tired and exhausted. Pregnant women should pursue some hobbies like reading books or painting.

10. Surrounding With Positive People

People around you may affect your mood and emotion. Pregnant women may easily feel depressed or stress if they talk with negative people. It is important for you to be around people who have a happy mind. It is a great idea for you to spending time with your family and friends. Positive people can cheer you up and make you smile when you are talking with them. Chatting and laughter can act like useful anti-depressants that help get rid of depression and negative feeling.

11. Classical Music

Looking for the useful treatments for depression during pregnancy can postpartum pregnancy, you should not ignore the classical music. Listening to classical music is believed to eliminate negative feeling and depression. Classical music is considered as a useful antidepressant because it increases the production of feeling good chemical called serotonin. Listening to good music keeps your mind calm and elevates your mood.

12. Prayer

It is recommended visiting places of worship for prayer. That calms and strengthens your mind. Praying has a good effect on the nerves and mind. It is also one of the effective techniques on how to overcome depression during pregnancy.

13. Sam-E

Sam-E is one of the herbal remedies for depression during pregnancy and postpartum depression that can help a lot in keeping this condition at bay fast and effectively so that I would like to introduce to you in this article and encourage readers to learn carefully before applying in real life. Sam-E has been well researched and studies. This herbal remedy is safe to be used during pregnancy. It stimulates the brain neurotransmitters that play the important role in controlling mood. It is recommended taking 400 mg of Sam-E per day. However, you can take 800 mg divided twice a day for the best therapeutic effect. The unwanted side effects of taking Sam-E such as mild gastrointestinal symptoms, dizziness, sweating, and anxiety are rare but you should notice. It is important for the pregnant women to consult a doctor before taking Sam-E.

14. St. John’s Wort

Not only Sam-E but also St. John’s Wort is an effective herbal remedy for depression during pregnancy and postpartum depression. Because of limited data, further studies and researches on human are needed. You should consult your doctor before consuming this herbal remedy. Some human case reports showed healthy pregnancies and well-developed infants when St.John’s Wort was taken prenatally. It is recommended taking 300 mg of St.John’s Wort twice daily.

15. Probiotics

Some evidence showed that disrupted flora is a cause of mood disorders, including anxiety, stress, and depression. Some studies have found out that live active cultures present in yogurt can elevate your mood. Pregnant women who experience depression, stress and anxiety should consume foods rich in live active cultures like yogurt. Good probiotics are also found in fermented foods such as kimchee, sauerkraut, and miso.

16. Find Useful Help From A Pregnancy Natural Medicinal Expert

This is the very last thing to mention in the entire article today and people should never look down at all costs if you are among new moms who are greatly concerning about the depression phenomenon during or/and after pregnancy.

If those above strategies and techniques on how to overcome depression during pregnancy and postpartum depression do not bring any improvement, you should look for the useful help from a medical provider who specializes and has experience in the functional medicine, integrative, naturopathic, mental and physical health care of pregnancy. Although self-care is important, some physical and mental health of pregnant women should be addressed with a knowledgeable and supportive team.

To keep your mind healthy, stay away from depression and ensure the proper development of the unborn baby, you should not ignore the healthy diet. The article “24 Healthy Diets For Pregnant Women For The Long Pregnancy” will let you know the essential nutrients and recommended foods pregnant women should eat. The pregnancy requires 25 to 35-pound weight gain. That healthy diet can help pregnant women give a birth to a healthy well-developed baby.

I have mentioned 16 techniques and tips on how to overcome depression during pregnancy and postpartum. It is important for you to keep your mind calm. Always think of positive things and happy moments. Belief will make everything run smoothly. I hope that you are satisfied with useful techniques in this article. I am glad to hearing your opinions and experience related to depression during pregnancy. Thank you for reading.

Related articles on pregnancy you should read:

42 Miscarriage-Causing Foods That You Should Avoid 

Good Nutrition That Pregnant Women Should Keep In Mind 

A List Of Foods That Are Not Recommended For Pregnant Women 

10 Tips That Help Pregnant Women To Relax

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