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What Is Perinatal Depression? Britney Spears Opens Up About Psychological Condition

What Is Perinatal Depression
American singer Britney Spears recently took to Instagram to announce her pregnancy. The singer, whose conservatorship just ended, is expecting her first child with partner Sam Asghari and already has two teenage sons from her previous marriage to Kevin Federline.

Sharing a photo of a cup of beverage surrounded by flowers, the singer mentioned in her caption that she is expecting a child with Asghari and also mentioned how it will likely be ‘hard’ as she has previously experienced perinatal depression.

“When I was pregnant, I had perinatal depression. I have to say it is absolutely horrible. Women didn’t talk about it back then, some people considered it dangerous if a woman complained like that with a baby inside her, but now women talk about it every day. Thank Jesus we don’t have to keep that pain a reserved proper secret,” the singer wrote in her post.

What Is Perinatal Depression?

Perinatal Depression is a collective term for prenatal (before baby’s birth) and postpartum (post-baby birth) depression. Perinatal depression can affect women at any time during their pregnancy until one year after the baby’s birth.

Studies have suggested that the belief women were protected from emotional disorders due to pregnancy is a myth. It can wreak havoc with hormones and create additional stress for women at times. A combination of biological and emotional factors among pregnant women may lead to anxiety and depression.


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Healthline suggests that around 10-20% of women develop pregnancy-related mood disorders. Although pregnancy may share some symptoms with depression, here are things one has to be wary of.

Symptoms such as frequent crying, trouble sleeping (not because of frequent urination), fatigue, appetite changes, loss of enjoyment in once pleasurable activities, increased anxiety and poor foetal attachment are indicators of perinatal depression, Healthline suggested. It further added that these symptoms may be aggravated during pregnancy if the women were already affected by depression.

Perinatal depression is treated with a similar approach to which depression is treated. Reportedly, 80 to 90% of pregnant women or new mothers are treated with either medication or therapy. At times, their consulting doctors may suggest a combination of drugs and therapy.

The report suggests that doctors usually prescribe selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) for pregnant women. While studies suggest that SSRIs are relatively safe for pregnant women and nursing mothers, there is still no considerable research in the field.

A research paper on the same concluded that the increase of mental health issues amongst the human populace warrants a study on the effect of drugs used to treat depression and other disorders on the foetus and infants.