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Depression During Pregnancy

Overview

Who is at risk for depression during pregnancy?

If you had depression before you became pregnant, you're more likely to have it during your pregnancy. Or you may have it for the first time when you're pregnant. Depression during pregnancy may also be more likely if you have anxiety or more stress in your life or lack social support.

How do you know if you are depressed?

With all the changes in your life, you may not know if you are depressed. Pregnancy sometimes causes changes in how you feel that are similar to the symptoms of depression.

Symptoms of depression include:

  • Feeling sad or hopeless and losing interest in daily activities. These are the most common symptoms of depression.
  • Sleeping too much or not enough.
  • Feeling tired. You may feel as if you have no energy.
  • Eating too much or too little.
  • Having trouble focusing or making decisions.
  • Feeling worthless or having suicidal thoughts.

Where to get help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week

If you or someone you know talks about suicide, self-harm, a mental health crisis, a substance use crisis, or any other kind of emotional distress, get help right away. You can:

  • Call the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 988.
  • Call 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255).
  • Text HOME to 741741 to access the Crisis Text Line.

Consider saving these numbers in your phone.

Go to 988lifeline.org for more information or to chat online.

How is depression during pregnancy treated?

Managing depression is important for your own health and the health of your baby. Treatment options include:

  • Counseling. This can focus on how you feel about your pregnancy, your relationships, and changes in your life. It gives you emotional support. And it can help you solve problems and set goals. One type of counseling helps you take charge of how you think and feel. This is called cognitive behavioral therapy.
  • Antidepressant medicines. These medicines may improve or get rid of depression symptoms. Whether you need them depends a lot on how bad your symptoms are. Talk to your doctor about whether this medicine is right for you.
  • Other treatments. Some other therapies that can help include light therapy, exercise or yoga, and massage therapy.

Credits

Current as of: July 10, 2023

Author: Healthwise Staff
Clinical Review Board
All Healthwise education is reviewed by a team that includes physicians, nurses, advanced practitioners, registered dieticians, and other healthcare professionals.

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated, disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. Learn how we develop our content.

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated, disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. Learn how we develop our content.

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