|» ||Survey: Depression Growing Among Young Pregnant Women|
Counseling based on God‘s Word may be the best solution to this problem.
A rise in depression among women during pregnancy is suggested by a survey in England. The survey compared mothers-to-be in the 1990s with their counterparts today and found a disturbing trend. From 1990 to 1992, about 17% of young pregnant women in southwest England showed signs of depression. However, the figure from 2012 to 2016 has risen to 25% among young women.
According to earlier dated studies, depression during and after pregnancy is fairly common. However, Rebecca Pearson, a psychiatric epidemiologist at England’s Bristol University, says, “We know very little about the levels of depression and anxiety in new mums today.”
Researchers used something called the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale to try to measure the symptoms of depression. Ten questions with values from 0 to 3 each were asked of the pregnant women. The questions were designed to reveal the risk of depression during and after pregnancy. A total score of 13 or more indicated a high level of symptoms of depression.
In the 1990s, 408 of 2,390 women (17%) between the ages of 19 and 24 scored 13 or higher on the test. In the current survey, daughters of the original participants and spouses/partners of their sons were interviewed. Some 25% of these 19 to 24-year-old women scored above 13. However, researchers were not sure that the findings would hold true for women younger than 19 or older than 24 or whether scores of less than 13 on the tests might indicate mild depression.
The questions which got the highest negative scores involved self-blame, unnecessary anxiety or worry, a feeling that things were getting too much to handle, or a general feeling of sadness. Relatively few women, either in the first survey or the current one, considered hurting themselves.
The researchers have noted that depression tends to move through families. Daughters of women who were depressed during pregnancy were three times more likely themselves to be depressed while carrying a child than were the other women in the survey.
The scientists aren’t sure of the reasons for the increase, but have offered the following possibilities: more working mothers, more financial problems, more stress, less sleep, and feelings of isolation and anxiety. Social media is a mixed bag, helping mothers get necessary information but also possibly increasing the problems with isolation and anxiety.
Comment: Although the reasons for this increase in depression are not clear, our secular society is not helping matters. One side of the abortion debate, for instance, is suggesting that the lives of unborn children are not all that important, which may make some women wonder if their pregnancy is worth it, and some people are still falsely claiming that the world is heading for a serious overpopulation problem, so hold off on having children. Thoughts like these could be at fault for increasing feelings of guilt for some of these women who really want to have children. Indeed, self-blame was a leading depression symptom for the women in the survey. Interestingly, the pain and discomfort associated with pregnancy was not listed as a possible cause for depression.
Christian mothers-to-be have the Bible firmly on their side. The Bible in both Testaments clearly shows how highly we are to regard children. “Indeed, children are a heritage from the Lord. The fruit of the womb is a reward from him” (Psalm 127:3, EHV). “He blesses your children within you” (Psalm 147:13b, EHV). “Jesus told them, ‘Have you never read, From the lips of little children and nursing babies you have prepared praise?'” (Matthew 21:16b, EHV).
In fact, Jesus tells us that we must have faith like little children if we want to go to heaven. “Amen I tell you: Unless you are turned and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3, EHV). “When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said, ‘Let the little children come to me! Do not hinder them, because the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Amen I tell you: Whoever will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it’” (Mark 10:14-15, EHV).
Counseling based on God’s Word may be the best solution for women who are feeling depressed over something which should be a cause for rejoicing.
Reference: Laura Sanders, “Pregnancy depression is on the rise, a survey suggests: Expectant women may be more anxious or depressed than their mothers were,” Science News [July 13, 2018].
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QUESTION OF THE DAY
Are cleaning products safe for the lungs?
The safest ingredients for cleaning products are vinegar, baking soda, warm water and liquid soap. Volatile organic compounds released by many commercial cleaners can irritate airways, reduce lung function, and trigger breathing problems. Try to avoid added fragrances, ammonia and chlorine bleach. If using these products, open windows for better ventilation.
Source: “On Your Mind,” Consumers Reports On Health [June, 2018], page12.
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