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Pregnancy - Essay Example

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Although pregnancy is considered to be a wonderful experience in itself that produces a pleasant outcome, it has a number of psychological and social issues surrounding it that may cause emotional and psychological pain to the woman. Hormone levels are intermittent during pregnancy and the post partum period, which can lead to mood swings between anxiety and depression, sadness and elation, and confusion as well ("Psychological consequences of pregnancy," 2007).
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Download file to see previous pages... However, issues are more profound and more difficult to resolve especially when the pregnancy is unwanted or unintended. This is especially true in teenage pregnancies.
Unintended and teenage pregnancy is also closely related to a lot of other social issues-out of wedlock births, responsible parenthood, welfare dependence and overall child well-being, workforce development, and abortion (The National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, 2002). In addition, pregnancy for adolescents is not a difficult endeavor. The emotional and psychological effects are not limited to deciding whether to keep the baby or not, or motherhood and adoption. The adolescent also has to cope with the unfamiliar changes that are happening to her body, and may experience depression as well.
There are many issues that can be named surrounding pregnancy. However, this paper will focus itself on depression, unintended pregnancies, teenage pregnancies, abortion, and the various concerns surrounding them.
Depression that occurs during pregnancy is called perinatal depression, while depression occuring within a year after the child is born is called post-partum depression (National Women's Health Information Center, 2005). The manifestations are sadness, feelings of helplessness and uselessness, tiredness, uncontrollable mood swings, and the like (NWHIC, 2005). During and after pregnancy, there are hormonal changes in a woman's body that greatly affects the onset of these symptoms. Most people deem that these symptoms are easily treatable and manageable. However, women with post-partum depression may experience severe lack of energy and loss of functioning and well-being for a longer period of time. When undergoing a depressive state, the mother will not be able to properly care for herself while pregnant, or for her newborn in the case of post-partum depression.
In addition to the fluctuations of hormones in a woman's body, another factor that can contribute to depression during and after pregnancy is the physical changes that the body undergoes. The alteration in a woman's body image may make her feel less attractive, thus giving her extra concerns about her pre-pregnancy figure (NWHIC, 2005). It may, indeed seem like a menial concern. However, for a pregnant woman whose hormones are fluctuating, this may be overwhelming.
Experts claim various attributes in the cause of postpartum depression, either to hormonal changes after child birth or to the sudden greater responsibilities of caring for a newborn, or a combination of both (Ainsworth, 2000). Since new mothers are often sleep-deprived, fatigued, and utterly busy with caring for their newborn, it is difficult for them to realize if they have postpartum depression, and distinguish their symptoms from being mild to severe.
Ainsworth (2000) cited the case of Jane D., who was admitted for psychiatric care after the death of her infant son (p.32). Two months after her delivery, Jane started staying up all night, checking on her son every few mnutes, and then became moody and suspicious of other members of the family. She refused to eat and would just sit for hours holding her baby. One day Jane saw her husband and father in law digging a hole. She ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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