Depression and Pregnancy

While having a baby is a happy time for the most part, its not unusual to experience feelings of sadness, insecurity and even fear. If the sadness develops into ongoing depression, its important and OK to seek professional help.

An estimated 1 in 4 women will experience depression symptoms in their lifetime, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. During pregnancy, the mood disorder often goes undiagnosed perhaps confused with ongoing hormonal changes. Research has found that women with depression in pregnancy are at significant risk for postpartum depression, as well.

Depression warning signs include:

  • Persistent sadness
  • Inability to sleep or stay asleep
  • Change in eating habits
  • Anxiety
  • Loss of interest in things that had been enjoyable

You may also want to talk or text with mental health counselors at the National Maternal Mental Health Hotline. The hotline—at 1-833-943-5746 (1-833-9-HELP4MOMS)—is free, confidential and available 24/7 in English and Spanish for all pregnancy and postpartum mental health concerns. It doesn’t replace your healthcare provider’s advice, but does provide resources and support.

If you have these symptoms, talk with your doctor or midwife. There are treatment options for pregnant women going through depression, and its best to talk it out. Get the help you need so you and your developing baby will enjoy a healthy pregnancy and delivery.

See also ...

Depression and anxiety during pregnancy and after birth

This message is not intended to provide individual medical advice. Always seek the advice of a physician or qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have about your health or medical condition, your breastfeeding issues and your infant's health. Never disregard, avoid or delay contacting a doctor or other qualified professional because of something you have read in our emails, webpages or other electronic communications.

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