Feeling Blue During Pregnancy

August 24, 2022 Women

Everyone was so excited about Maria’s pregnancy… except Maria; all she felt was hopeless. She put on a smile and tried to get used to the idea of having a baby, but it was hard. In fact, Maria found she didn’t want to get out of bed in the morning. She didn’t feel like eating and nothing seemed fun anymore. She knew she “should” feel happy about having a baby but instead she felt sad and dreaded her future.

Pregnancy is not always a happy time; depression during pregnancy is more common than most people think. How can you tell if you are depressed? Symptoms of depression may be different for everyone, but often include:

What Causes Depression?
Depression tends to run in families, but people without any family history of depression can also have it. Most likely, depression happens due to a combination of things. For example, stress often triggers depression, as does a trauma, loss of a loved one or a difficult relationship. People with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are especially prone to having depression. PTSD can occur after a person goes through a terrible event such as a violent attack, a natural disaster, accident, or military combat. Also, just the stress of an unplanned pregnancy could trigger depression.
As many as 1 in 10 pregnant women feel depressed.

Can Feeling Sad Hurt Your Pregnancy?

Unfortunately, yes. Depression during pregnancy can:

Depression can also seriously affect your baby. Babies who have mothers with depression:

What Can You Do?

Side-Lying Hold

  1. For the right breast, lie on your right side with your baby facing you.
  2. Pull your baby close. Your baby’s mouth should be level with your nipple.
  3. In this position, you can cradle your baby’s back with your left arm and support yourself with your right arm and/or pillows.
  4. Keep loose clothing and bedding away from your baby.
  5. Reverse for the left breast.

This hold is useful when:

Cross-Cradle Hold

  1. For the right breast, use your left arm to hold your baby’s head at your right breast and baby’s body toward your left side. A pillow across your lap can help support your left arm.
  2. Gently place your left hand behind your baby’s ears and neck, with your thumb and index finger behind each ear and your palm between baby’s shoulder blades. Turn your baby’s body toward yours so your tummies are touching.
  3. Hold your breast as if you are squeezing a sandwich. To protect your back, avoid leaning down to your baby. Instead, bring your baby to you.
  4. As your baby’s mouth opens, push gently with your left palm on baby’s head to help them latch on. Make sure you keep your fingers out of the way.
  5. Reverse for the left breast.

This hold is useful when:

Clutch or “Football” Hold

  1. For the right breast, hold your baby level, facing up, at your right side.
  2. Put your baby’s head near your right nipple and support their back and legs under your right arm.
  3. Hold the base of your baby’s head with your right palm. A pillow underneath your right arm can help support your baby’s weight.
  4. To protect your back, avoid leaning down to your baby. Bring baby to you instead.
  5. Reverse for the left breast.

This hold is useful when:

Cradle Hold

  1. For the right breast, cradle your baby with your right arm. Your baby will be on their left side across your lap, facing you at nipple level.
  2. Your baby’s head will rest on your right forearm with your baby’s back along your inner arm and palm.
  3. Turn your baby’s tummy toward your tummy. Your left hand is free to support your breast, if needed. Pillows can help support your arm and elbow.
  4. To protect your back, avoid leaning down to your baby. Instead, bring your baby to you.
  5. Reverse for the left breast.

This hold is useful when:

Laid-Back Hold

  1. Lean back on a pillow with your baby’s tummy touching yours and their head at breast level. Some moms find that sitting up nearly straight works well. Others prefer to lean back and lie almost flat.
  2. You can place your baby’s cheek near your breast, or you may want to use one hand to hold your breast near your baby. It’s up to you and what you think feels best.
  3. Your baby will naturally find your nipple, latch, and begin to suckle.

This hold is useful when: