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Symptoms of Depression During Pregnancy


Some women find that they're happy and joyous throughout much of their pregnancies. However, if you're experiencing pregnancy depression, you're not alone. Nearly 13% of women have symptoms of depression during pregnancy.

There aren't any specific reasons, but it's thought that a family history of depression, hormone changes, past abuse, pregnancy concerns, past difficulty in conceiving, and other life stressors can bring about pregnancy depression.

Support for Depression During Pregnancy

If you're feeling blue during your pregnancy, it's important to set up a support system for after the baby is born. Talk to your partner and your friends and family members about what you need -- don't be shy about asking for help! These things can also help with pregnancy depression.

  • Eat a healthy diet filled with small meals. Small meals help balance your blood sugar levels, which can improve your moods.
  • Exercise! Although you might not be able to run marathons, you can still do some forms of exercise. Walking, pilates, yoga, and other gentle exercises can help, especially if you can exercise with a friend.
  • Meditate. Relaxation techniques can help. If you feel silly meditating, go get a massage or a pedicure instead.

  • Talk to friends. Talking about your pregnancy depression can help.
  • Participate in activities that you enjoy. Get out and see a movie or pick up a hobby.

Mood Swings

Mood swings are a normal part of pregnancy, but if you're extremely irritable or anxious, or are having problems eating sleeping or are just feeling sad, you should talk to your healthcare provider about your symptoms of depression.

Some women feel ashamed if they're depressed during their pregnancy -- after all, this is supposed to be a happy time in your life. However, there's no reason to feel ashamed.

Your healthcare provider may recommend group or individual therapy or counseling. You may able benefit from cognitive behavior therapy to change your negative thinking patterns. Lastly, if your pregnancy depression doesn't respond to these treatments, your doctor might want to prescribe antidepressants. There are some that are considered safe during pregnancy.

Pregnancy depression can be frightening, but you don't have to suffer in silence. Reach out for help and you can enjoy the rest of your pregnancy.

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