Overview-Depression During Pregnancy

Depression during pregnancy is a health condition that needs to be paid attention in order to ensure a healthy pregnancy without any complications to the mother and the child. It is a fact that nearly 10%-20% of pregnant women are afflicted with depression. The cause of depression in pregnant women is attributed to hormonal imbalances that change brain chemistry during pregnancy. It is a relief that depression during pregnancy is treatable and manageable.

Symptoms Of Depression During Pregnancy


  • Fatigue
  • Sadness
  • Anxiety
  • Sleeplessness/sleeping way too much
  • Irritability
  • Lack of interest
  • Loss of appetite/overeating
  • Lack of concentration
  • Low self-esteem
  • Unhealthy thoughts such as about death/suicide
  • Hopelessness
  • Guilt

Causes Of Depression During Pregnancy

  • Family history of depression
  • Relationship troubles
  • Stressful situations
  • Abuse or trauma
  • Fertility treatments
  • Having suffered a miscarriage previously
  • Fear of the bodily changes
  • The financial burden of raising a child
  • Not having a supportive partner
  • Pregnancy complication
  • Unplanned pregnancies

Types Of Treatment Available

It is a fact that depression during pregnancy is treatable using various methods. If you experience the various symptoms of depression for more than 2 weeks, it is time that you consulted your physician and sought counsel regarding treatment. The most preferred form of treatment is psychotherapy.

This is because though many women are prescribed antidepressants and many have had children with no side effects, the fact that these antidepressants have been known to cause birth defects such as heart disorders, lung, liver and kidney disorders, etc. in the unborn child cannot be ignored.

If women choose to take prescribed drugs, they have to do so after carefully considering the risks to her and to the child.

Psychotherapy helps as without drugs and by positive counseling, the woman is made to come to terms with the factors that are causing depression during pregnancy and helps them to become better equipped to deal with pregnancy and depression. Interpersonal Psychotherapy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy are used in treating depression during pregnancy.

The women are thus made to relax, reduce the stress in their lives, given support, and provided care which can have a very positive outcome. If they have unreliable spouses, they are encouraged to become self-reliant and confident. Dietary changes, taking the time off to relax and do something that is enjoyable go a long way in treating depression.

Pregnancy planning and extra care during pre-pregnancy can lower the chances of depression as the women are aware of the risks associated and are mentally and physically ready for the various changes. Depression during pregnancy may be lessened by having family support, exercising regularly, meditating and eating nutritious and healthy food. Getting pregnant is one of the unique phases in a woman’s life; make it more enjoyable by having a positive outlook, reducing stress levels, and ensuring you are free from symptoms of depression during pregnancy.

Many pregnant women face depression during pregnancy.

Depression could be because of pregnancy complications, fear of losing shape, or unplanned pregnancies. If you have a history or family history of depression, you can reduce depression by pregnancy planning or pre-pregnancy counseling