In addition to professional mental health therapies, making a few changes to your routine will help you reduce the symptoms of depression during your pregnancy time. Let’s the things you can do to reduce the symptoms of depression when you are expecting.
Get regular exercise
Light to moderate exercise raises levels of endorphins, natural brain chemicals known to improve mood. Make time to enjoy a walk, take a prenatal yoga class, or swim a few laps. Many women can safely exercise during pregnancy but always talk with your obstetrician or midwife first to confirm that working out is safe for you and the baby.
Sleeping with a basketball-sized abdomen is hard under the best of circumstances; however, it can be even more difficult when you also struggle with depression, which is a well-known sleep disrupter. Let your mental health professional, obstetrician, or midwife know you’re having sleep problems. He or she will recommend ways to achieve better quality rest, including strategies like developing a sleep schedule and relieving common pregnancy-related conditions like heartburn.
Make Time For Yourself
This can be one of the most challenging lifestyle changes for a pregnant woman; there’s so much to do, especially if you’re already caring for little ones. Wake up a few minutes earlier to enjoy breakfast and read a book before the house wakes up, or tap friends to babysit so you can indulge in a pedicure. Little escapes can go a long way toward helping you clear your mind and lower harmful stress levels.
Feeling depressed makes it easy to isolate yourself at home. This isolation, however, can reinforce the negative emotions you’re directing at yourself. Make time to be social in comfortable situations. For example, set a weekly lunch date with a sister, cousin, or friend. Another option is to find a mothers group; many of them welcome moms-to-be. These groups are a great way to connect with other women going through the same experiences and anxieties. Mothers groups are often associated with a church, but many of them are open to non-church members. If you can’t find one locally, consider joining a supportive online community of mothers.
Eat a Healthy Diet
When you are expecting, it can seem like everyone wants to tell you how to eat. However, the most important thing you can do to help yourself and your unborn child is to focus on a healthy diet, one that’s rich in lean protein, vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. Giving in to junk food cravings floods the body with bad carbohydrates and sugar, leading to insulin spikes and dips that affect mood.
Prenatal depression can harm an unborn child and increase the risk he or she will struggle with depression as a teenager. You are supposed to take care of yourself and your baby by reaching out to professional mental health therapies for depression treatment. The combination of therapy, lifestyle changes, and, in some cases, medication will help you feel better and reduce the risk your little one will experience depression later in life.