BDNF is a protein in the brain that some researchers believe could act as a red flag for depression in pregnant women.
According to CBS’s medical expert, the study suggests that the steeper the decline of BDNF in pregnant women, the more likely they are to experience depression during their pregnancies.
During pregnancy a normal level of the protein is especially important because of its role in the development of the baby’s brain development. Many women are wary of taking antidepressants during pregnancy, in lieu of this option there are other natural ways to increase BDNF levels in your body.
For instance, exercise has been oftentimes cited as an effective way to increase BDNF levels. Particularly high intensity workouts on a regular basis yielded the best results.
A carefully watched diet, increased exposure to sunlight, added supplements and other pregnancy helpful meds are other ways to increase BDNF production.
The ultimate goal is to take a preventative approach, when possible, and a proactive approach, if low BDNF levels are what you are dealing with. Having an honest conversation about your mental health with your doctor is the best place to start.