I’m Pregnant. Is Bright Light Therapy Safe for Me?
Depression is a common affliction, and pregnant and postpartum women are especially vulnerable to developing depression symptoms. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 1 in 10 American women suffers from depression at some point during adulthood, with the number increasing to 1 in 9 for women during the postpartum period. In some states, the number increases to 1 in 5 pregnant and postpartum women.
Even though the effects of pregnancy depression can affect the mental, emotional, and physical well-being of both the mother and the growing fetus, many women are hesitant to take medications to help with their depression. For those who may desire a more natural way to alleviate some of the symptoms of depression, bright light therapy can help.
But is bright light therapy safe during pregnancy and the postpartum period?
Yes, it is as safe for pregnant women as it is for anyone else. A study of 16 pregnant women experiencing depression symptoms showed a 50% decrease in their symptoms after they spent 60 minutes per day under 10,000 lux lights for 3-5 weeks. A Swedish study of 27 women, some of whom were instructed to sit under placebo red light, saw similar results in the patients who sat under bright light.
Depression can rear its head in pregnant and postpartum women who otherwise have not experienced depressive symptoms due to the hormonal changes of pregnancy. You may suffer from depression in pregnancy if you experience some of the following symptoms:
- A feeling of prolonged sadness
- Difficulty concentrating
- Problems sleeping, either sleeping too little or too much
- A loss of interest in usually enjoyable activities
Consult your doctor, obstetrician, or midwife if you experience these symptoms for more than two weeks. If you live in a northern climate where you have less exposure to sun, you may be at a higher risk for developing seasonal-onset or intensifying of depression in pregnancy.
If you suffer from depression during pregnancy or postpartum depression, and think bright light therapy may be right for you, consult with your doctor about your options.
The First Name in Bright Light Therapy Light Boxes
At The SunBox Company, we offer quality light boxes to aid in the treatment of pregnancy and postpartum depression and other mental and physical ailments. It is our mission to provide affordable, effective solutions to meet the needs of our customers. Contact us today to learn how a light therapy box can help ease symptoms of pregnancy and postpartum depression.Tags: antepartum depression, depression, Light therapy, light therapy in pregnancy, post-partum depression