Throughout pregnancy, your body goes through a lot of change. The stresses of these changes can cause you to experience depression during pregnancy. This emotional change can impact the way you feel about yourself and the world around you. It’s important to reach out to a healthcare provider if you are experiencing depression because it is treatable. People who are depressed during pregnancy are at a higher risk of postpartum depression.
Depression is a condition that affects your emotional state. It can cause you to have feelings of sadness and disconnection. A depressed mood is a normal reaction to loss, change, life’s struggles or self-esteem issues. However, depression can sometimes become intense, last for long periods of time and prevent you from leading a normal life.
It’s important to reach out to a healthcare provider if you’re experiencing depression. It can be treated, helping you feel better.
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Depression is almost as commonly seen in pregnant people as it is in non-pregnant people. This condition can happen at any time in your life, including during pregnancy.
There are many different factors that can add to your risk of developing depression during your pregnancy. These risks can include:
Pregnancy can cause you to experience depression. Your body goes through a lot of change and the stresses of pregnancy can trigger depression in some people. Not everyone who becomes pregnant will also be depressed.
If you have experienced depression in the past, your symptoms could return or if you were living with depression before your pregnancy, it may get worse once you’re pregnant.
It’s important to talk to your healthcare provider about depression during pregnancy because it can extend after delivery. People who experience depression during pregnancy are at a higher risk of postpartum depression (depression after the baby is born).
During pregnancy, your body goes through many changes. You may experience a lot of different emotions throughout pregnancy — sometimes carrying you up the emotional roller coaster, and sometimes down. It’s okay to feel all of these different emotions. However, if you find you’re having any of the following symptoms during your pregnancy, it could be depression and you should reach out to your healthcare provider right away. Signs of depression during pregnancy can include:
If you have any of the above symptoms your provider may ask you the following questions:
If you answer yes to either of these questions, your healthcare provider will ask you more questions during a more in-depth depression screening test.
Experiencing depression during pregnancy can impact a mother’s health in several ways. Depression during pregnancy can affect you by:
If you are experiencing depression during your pregnancy, there are steps you can take to help improve how you’re feeling. Preparing for a new baby is a lot of hard work, but remember that your health is important and needs to come first. There are a few things you can do to help with depression during pregnancy, including:
If you are not finding relief from anxiety and depression by making these changes, seek your healthcare provider’s advice or a referral to a mental health professional.
Growing evidence suggests that many of the currently available antidepressant medicines are relatively safe for treating depression during pregnancy, at least in terms of short-term effects on the fetus. Long-term effects have not been fully studied. You should discuss the possible risks and benefits with your doctor.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 06/11/2020.
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