I'm pregnant and I feel depressed. What should I do? Prenatal Care

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Sad pregnant woman looking out the window.
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If you're having feelings of depression or despair, talk to your doctor right away, and see what an expert says and what other moms did to manage their depression during pregnancy.

Get Treatment to Keep You & Baby Safe

"Depression is completely normal and affects 15 to 23 percent of pregnant women. The severity of depression, however, determines who is treated during pregnancy. Some women with a history of depression prior to pregnancy may go off their normal medications or go untreated during pregnancy, which puts them at an increased risk of having a relapse of symptoms (and [could] potentially be harmful for mom and baby). Symptoms include fatigue, irritability, poor appetite, insomnia, preterm labor,...

"Depression is completely normal and affects 15 to 23 percent of pregnant women. The severity of depression, however, determines who is treated during pregnancy. Some women with a history of depression prior to pregnancy may go off their normal medications or go untreated during pregnancy, which puts them at an increased risk of having a relapse of symptoms (and [could] potentially be harmful for mom and baby). Symptoms include fatigue, irritability, poor appetite, insomnia, preterm labor, preeclampsia, [and] alcohol, drug, and tobacco use, which could lead to not taking proper care of yourself and the baby. Untreated mental illness in pregnancy puts women at a much greater risk of postpartum depression. It's important to talk to your health-care provider to discuss any signs or symptoms of depression you may be experiencing." -- Sherry Ross, MD, OB/GYN, and women's health expert at Providence Saint John's Health Center in Santa Monica, CA

Talk About Your Feelings

"I notice that if I have time to think, I feel more depressed and anxious. Seeing and talking to other people makes a huge difference."

Don't Feel Ashamed

"Be proud that you are strong enough to realize when you need help. If you won't do it for yourself, then do it for your children because they deserve a happy and healthy mom."

Hormones Can Heighten Symptoms

"Your hormones are all out of whack right now. I was depressed and moody a lot when I first conceived. It's very normal."

Hormones Can Heighten Symptoms

"Your hormones are all out of whack right now. I was depressed and moody a lot when I first conceived. It's very normal."

Consider Medication

"I suffered with depression during my last two pregnancies. I finally decided to tell my midwife and am now taking medication. I feel so much better and I think I'm making the best choice for myself and my baby."

The advice on CafeMom aims to educate, inform, and provide a range of solutions to the issues moms care about. It is not a substitute for consultation with a medical professional or treatment for a specific condition. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem without consulting a qualified professional. Please contact your health-care provider with questions and concerns.