Depression During Pregnancy: Nursing Role, Interventions, and Care

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Pregnant women are vulnerable to depression because of major changes in estrogen and progesterone levels as well as changes in the brain which produce significant physical and psychological impacts (Stewart, 2011). Depression during pregnancy can affect not only the mother but the unborn child and other children. Caring for women who are depressed during pregnancy is in many respects different from other types of caring. Caring in this situation is demanding and truly involves the intention to care. The women are diverse but most of them live in poverty, without social support, and many do not want the child (Sable & Washington, 2007). The nursing role is best summarized as a moral ideal because of the level of acceptance
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Stress or perinatal loss will always cause a high level of anxiety, and stress will end in depression (Cote-Arsenault, 2007). If depression is not managed it easily leads to poor nutrition, insomnia and lack of exercise as well as substance abuse. Among other problems are poor neonatal outcomes, poor neuro-behavioral development for the fetus, and a high risk for postpartum depression (Suppaseemanont, 2006). When depression occurs, it can well endure for the reminder of the pregnancy and will result in extreme stress as well as multiple anxieties. All serious depression must be managed to prevent damaging effects to mother and fetus.
Role of Nursing Assessment According to Buck (2009), the children as well as the partner need to be assessed for the impact of depression. If the depression is very serious, further assessment may be needed. In terms of screening and identification it is recommended in clinical practice that during the woman’s first visit nurses and other health care providers need to ask questions relating to mental health. Typical questions include asking about a history of mental illness or depression during pregnancy, whether the woman feels little interest in things, and whether she has been feeling down or hopeless lately. If there is a positive response to any question, then the woman should be asked if she
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