Short Answer – Feeling depressed during pregnancy is not uncommon, but it also isn’t “normal” and should be discussed with your doctor. There are safe ways to treat depression and anxiety during pregnancy.

While it is normal to have some degree of worry over your pregnancy and the health of your baby, persistent symptoms of depression and/or anxiety are not normal and should be reported to your doctor. Pregnancy is often portrayed as a time of great joy, but the truth is 14-23% of expecting women will experience some form of depression during their pregnancies. If you are feeling depressed during pregnancy, know that you are not alone! Surging hormones, stress, anxiety and pressure to behave or feel a certain way can make expecting women even more susceptible to depression.  

Signs That May Point To Depression:

  • Feeling down or being in a depressed mood (most of the time) for two weeks or longer
  • Losing interest in the world around you
  • Feeling hopeless or worthless
  • Low energy
  • Poor concentration
  • Sleeping too little or too much
  • Brooding or guilt
  • Suicidal thoughts

Symptoms That May Indicate An Anxiety Disorder:

  • Excessive worry that you’re unable to control
  • Concurrent, persistent, and intrusive thoughts; along with compulsions to relieve those thoughts (OCD)
  • Feeling restless, irritability
  • Disrupted sleep patterns, fatigue
  • Panic attacks and/or a persistent fear of panic attacks

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms it is very important that you tell your doctor how you’re feeling. Many pregnant women have gone through exactly what you have, it is nothing to be ashamed or guilty about! And while you may be thinking this isn’t what I expected from pregnancy, it’s okay to need and ask for help.

Untreated depression and anxiety during pregnancy can have negative consequences for both you and your baby such as; low birth weight, preterm labor, preeclampsia, or not being able to adequately take care of your physical health (just to name a few). This isn’t something you want to ignore or hope will go away on its own. For your health, and the health of your baby, speak up!

The good news is there are many treatment options available, both medicinal and non-medicinalthat can help you find some relief. Work with your healthcare provider to determine what option makes the most sense for you, and get back to feeling like yourself again. 

Did you or are you feeling depressed during pregnancy? Share your experience with other moms in our Pregnancy Community.