Pregnancy is a time that most women wait for with anticipation from the time they are young. Excitement is expressed in the early weeks as many women begin the process of bringing life into the world. However, after some time passes, feelings begin to change for some mothers-to-be. Prenatal Depression has been presenting in more pregnancy cases and in more doctor’s offices over the last few years. In one study, 70% of the pregnant women experienced symptoms of depression.
Presentations of, or something that can lead to, Prenatal Depression include moments of fatigue, anxiety, body image issues, and an assortment of many other negative emotions. At any time, in any trimester, a woman’s depressive symptoms can cause a downward spiral into a full-blown diagnostic depression. This occurs in 10-15% of pregnant women.
Some of the warning signs that can be looked for in a pregnant woman are as follows:
- A sense that nothing feels enjoyable or fun anymore
- Feeling blue, sad, or “empty” for most of the day, every day
- It’s harder to concentrate
- Extreme irritability or agitation or excessive crying
- Trouble sleeping or sleeping all the time
- Extreme or never-ending fatigue
- A desire to eat all the time or not wanting to eat at all
- Inappropriate guilt or feelings of worthlessness or hopelessness
Many people believe that most of these warning signs are part of normal pregnancy.
A report found in the Clinical Endocrinology journal, June 2007 has much to say on the affects of depression on the baby while still in the womb.
- “Babies in the womb feel mom’s stress at only 17 weeks.”
- Women who suffer stress during pregnancy transmit their anxiety to their unborn children.”
- Research measured stress hormone cortisol in mothers blood and amniotic fluid around baby.”
- “As mother’s stress rose, so did that of the baby.”
Chiropractic and acupuncture have been shown to help relieve stress felt by the mother-to-be and in turn the baby as well. Each time a chiropractic adjustment is given, chemicals are released from the brain that relieve pain and stimulate relaxation in the muscles.
A study done in 2004 resulted in 69% of the women who were experiencing Prenatal Stress received relief through acupuncture and massage. This study goes on to say that 86% of these women did not develop postpartum depression after birth.
Dr. Reece Hayden, a board certified chiropractor and acupuncturist, is able to assist in helping mothers who may be experiencing the warning signs of Prenatal Depression during pregnancy at our southern location, located at the Pearland birthing center: Rite of Passage.