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Pregnancy Topics..

You are here : home > Pregnancy > Medical Aspects of Pregnancy > Depression



Many women suffer with symptoms of depression during pregnancy. Read on to learn the causes and how to prevent and deal with depression during pregnancy and after that.

The entire year of child bearing which includes pregnancy and post natal is full of anxiety and tremendous psychological and physical changes in the woman. Until recent past it was believed that pregnancy hormones took care of these feelings and hence no harm to women or their child was expected.

But the fact is that pregnant women need lot of support, emotionally and physically, so that they take care of themselves and cope with all the problems during this life changing period. The bouts of depression is also related to what pregnancy means to the woman and how she deals with her body image and changes that occur physically and psychologically.

Why am I depressed when I should be on top of the world?

Mood swings are common in the first trimester. Close to 10% of women face mild to moderate depression. The lows can be consistent or frequent. Common symptoms include sleep disturbances, changed eating patterns, fatigue, loss of interest in daily activities, and exaggerated mood swings.  These symptoms should not last for more than two weeks.

The trick is to follow a healthy diet and exercise plan and cut down on caffeine, sugar and chocolates, as these are substances that result in a false high in blood sugar levels.

What factors can put women at risk for depression?

Many of the following conditions could make women susceptible to occasional bouts of depression. In extreme cases, women have been advised to go in for therapy or take anti-depressant medication as prescribed by their obstetricians.
  • Socioeconomic stress
  • A family history of personality disorders
  • Lack of emotional support
  • Hospitalisation or complete bed rest advised due to a high risk in pregnancy
  • Anxiety about your own or your baby's health and safety
  • Age of pregnancy
  • Problems in marital life
  • History of mistreatment or trauma
  • Stressful events of life
  • Initially treated for infertility
  • Complications in pregnancy
  • Miscarriage in past
  • Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD or PMS)
  • Financial stress
  • Mother of multiples
  • Having children
  • Thyroid imbalance
  • With any form of diabetes
  • Ambivalence during pregnancy

Symptoms of depression during pregnancy

Depression can go undiagnosed because many women often dismiss their feelings and let them go thinking them as temporary moodiness. So, if you are pregnant, do not feel shy about sharing your feelings with your doctor. Remember your emotional well being is equally important for you and your child as your physical health. Here are some symptoms to help you find out whether you are suffering from depression or not.
  • If you are not enjoying the activities you previously did
  • Feeling sad, overwhelmed or hopeless
  • Lack of sleep
  • Feeling restless or moody
  • Feeling lack of energy
  • Absence of motivation
  • Lack of appetite
  • Withdrawing from friends and family
  • Having trouble in concentrating or making decision
  • Crying a lot
  • Having problem remembering things
  • Having headaches and other pains or stomach problems that do not go away
  • Feeling worthless and guilty

Effect of depression on pregnancy

  • Depression can put pregnant women at the risk of using harmful substances like alcohol, tobacco or other illegal and harmful drugs.
  • Depression can stop pregnant women from taking care of themselves during pregnancy like not taking recommended medications, eating and sleeping properly.
  • Depression can deprive pregnant women from having a strong bonding with their child.

Effects of pregnancy on depression
  • Depression during pregnancy put pregnant women at high risk of suffering from postnatal depression also.
  • Stress and anxiety during pregnancy might trigger symptoms of depression; it can be worsening of depression symptoms also.

What to do when depressed during pregnancy?

There is no doubt that preparing for your new baby means lot of work, but always keep in mind that your health should be given the prime importance. So, cut down the chores, take help from family members or get paid domestic help, if needed. Do things that help you relax. 

Talking to someone about your feelings is very important during this time. You can talk to your partner, friend, family members or anyone in the social circle. If you find problem related to appetite and sleep, you should talk to your doctor. He will prescribe you medicines that are safe during pregnancy. However, there are some nonmedical approaches also that can be opted for dealing with depression during pregnancy.

What are the causes of depression and mood swings during pregnancy? How to deal with depression and mood swings during pregnancy? How to prevent depression and mood swings during pregnancy? Discuss here.

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falguni.10 years ago
hi! i m currently in swiss with my husband ( who is at work most of the time) and my 3 yr old daughter. i m all alone with no friends in our locality. i have observed that i m having moodswing (esp during periods) which last about 2 weeks. i dont feel like goingout, talking, i remain stressed? what could be the problem. is it serious? moreover, this place the people are also not so freindly and warm. help me!
Reply to Falguni
Reply to Falguni.10 years ago
hi falguni,
i have faced similar condition in my first year of marriage. though i was in india adn we both are working but my condition was similar to yours. my husband use to work late nights and i come home early. we use to stay in flat where i had no friends and people here were not friendly.
i underwent depression and stress. during periods it was too high. then i started realizing that its because of some harmonical changes and loneliness.- i mean physical and phsycological changes.
i tried to come out of it by talking to my cousin who is a doctor. also i tried to engage myself in different hobbies like reading,going out playing with kids, doing some craft work. also i tried to put my best at work without thinking much about anything- which gave me work satisfaction.
its nothing serious but you need to try to solve the problem as soon as possible before it becomes serious.
try to call people at your home town or chat with your friends. this may also help you out.
mohammed sadath
mohammed sadath.10 years ago
wat 2 say sir these problems s with me for 3 years, my darling run away from me,i got married 2 someone and i have baby..... daily tension,workload,full depression,alone going 2 hill ,alone talking,alone laughing,alone crying,my brother beat awareness,only problems,my father i law going 2 madrasa and asking me donation......all bloody world s full of lunatics..........i
Angel.10 years ago
i am a month old pregnant. in my last pregnancy which was 3 yrs back i had problems with my in laws bcoz of which had understanding problems with my husband as well. this along with my health problems caused me a lot of depression in my first pregnancy. this time around i talked & discussed things with my husband & my husband agreed that he will try & understand me better thus helping me in my pregnancy . its just been two days since i came to know that i am pregnancy . these last 2 days itself have been soo difficult . i dont think my in laws would change & neither will my husband be able to understand me . i am feeling soooo depresseddddd i
dont know how i am going to go through this pregnancy.
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