There’s a new report that suggests millennials are more likely to feel depressed during their pregnancy, compared to past generations. That’s because prenatal depression is more common among moms-to-be than it was nearly 25 years ago. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) many young women are finding that they are battling the blues more often than ever before.
Researchers believe that while many women continue working throughout their pregnancy due to career aspiration, others are forced to stay in their jobs longer than they would like because of financial demands. This includes mortgage or rent payments and the rising costs of food and many basic household needs.
Also, chronic stress, sleep deprivation, eating habits, sedentary lifestyle, and the fast pace of modern life may contribute to an increasing prevalence of depression among young people generally and the impact of such changes may be amplified during pregnancy.
In addition, the present generation of young women have also experienced a rapid change in technology and how we communicate with one another. Interestingly enough, researchers also believe that social media might also be a contributing factor to prenatal depression. That’s because the “prime Facebook generation” have begun using social media platforms to announce their pregnancy and other milestones.
The study notes that social media use is connected with feelings of depression and social media isolation, especially when it comes to how we view our social relationships. Many couples announce their pregnancies on their accounts by posting a picture of their first scan or a baby bump photo. And for those who do, waiting for “likes” and comments might be contributing to the heightened rate of depression, according to the researchers. That’s because social media gives users a false impression that other expectant mothers are coping better with their pregnancies, even though that’s not the case at all.
Despite the rise in prenatal depression, the study’s researchers did note that if there’s one positive thing, it’s that more and more women are willing to admit that they are indeed suffering from depression. This at least gives many young and expecting mothers and outlet to talk about their feelings and of course, reach out for help while also hopefully eliminating the stigma that surrounds mental illness and mental health issues.