Pregnancy doesn’t just have strong effects on the body, but also on thoughts and feelings. This is true whether you've wanted to get pregnant for a long time or got pregnant unexpectedly. One of the causes for this is the hormones that your body is releasing more of now. This may cause your mood to shift unusually quickly. Irritation can suddenly turn into strong joy, worry into confidence and vice versa.
Pregnancy hormones make you more sensitive to things and people in your environment that are loud, dirty, threatening or unfriendly. Your feelings may also be affected by the many new questions and demands that you face. Maybe you're worried about your future, or you're racking your brain about whether your baby is healthy and how the birth will go. Even if you have wanted a child for a long time, you may suddenly have doubts and fears. You may also find that your feelings towards your partner, family and friends can change a little.
The extreme ups and downs of emotion can be unsettling and stressful. Exhaustion and fatigue are often added to the mix. This can cause additional stress. There are many people who feel the same way. Sometimes even simple things can help you feel better again. Moderate exercise and sport, for example, are good ways to relieve stress. Going to the cinema or a concert can also be relaxing. Many pregnant people also find it helpful to talk to siblings, parents, friends or other people who are expecting a child. In any case, be good to yourself and give yourself enough rest and sleep.
Mood swings can be uncomfortable, but are not a cause for concern at first. It's different if you're suffering from prolonged depression. If this is the case, you should seek professional help. You may be wondering how you can recognize depression and how it differs from having a bad day. There are certain signs that may indicate pregnancy depression. For example, it is typical of pregnancy depression that you may feel sad and depressed for several days or weeks. This is often associated with a sense of hopelessness. Some people are less interested in things they used to enjoy. They have trouble concentrating and they no longer trust themselves to do even simple tasks. Others can no longer feel happy and sleep only little or poorly. Still others are constantly worrying and can't bring themselves to do urgent and important things. If these symptoms affect you for longer than two weeks, you should talk to your doctor or midwife about them. You are not alone with these difficulties. Many people are affected by depression during pregnancy and there are very good treatment options.
Pregnancy depression doesn’t usually occur right at the beginning of pregnancy. People who have experienced depression before pregnancy are more prone to it than others. Stress, loneliness, unresolved relationship conflicts, domestic abuse and worries about money also increase the risk of developing pregnancy depression. What’s more, the expectations that others have of you or that you have of yourself can be so stressful that they make you sick.
Depression is something that is manageable if you take action. In the long run, the most successful approach is a combination of medication and psychotherapy. During pregnancy, doctors are cautious about prescribing medications. But your doctor can tell you which medicines are safe for your pregnancy. Please do not take any remedies with St. John's wort, as these can interfere with your hormones. It is important that you confide in your midwife or doctor first so that they can advise you. Only after you have shared how you have been feeling can they offer you specific forms of help and refer you for further support.