Hey, Why DON'T We Talk About Prenatal Depression?

Health Check 22

prenatal depressionPostpartum depression is hardly a hushed-up matter these days (and about damn time!), but what about prenatal depression? Well, let me put it this way: Until I came across writer Jessica Grose's piece on the topic, it never even occurred to me that I myself might have suffered from prenatal depression, though I clearly did -- and my children are now 11 and 6 years old. That's because, as Grose points out, nobody ever talks about prenatal depression. Not really.

Oh sure, you get the occasional sympathetic mention of "baby blues" from your mom or a comforting pat on the back from some old lady who finds you sobbing over a particularly moving sympathy card in the convenience store, but for the most part, this potentially serious condition is shrugged off as nothing more than just another hormonal mood swing.

And that's a bad thing. That's a dangerously bad thing.

Because if we can't even recognize the existence of prenatal depression, how are we supposed to treat it? Serious questions need to be asked. Important issues need to be examined, then re-examined, and examined again. Such as whether or not the risk of using anti-depressants during pregnancy really outweighs the risk of, well, NOT using anti-depressants during pregnancy. (In my opinion, it's a lot riskier to leave depression untreated, but that's just me.) Not to mention the question of whether or not women really need to go off anti-depressants while trying to conceive (apparently this results in an almost 70 percent chance of relapse during pregnancy).

Dealing with depression during pregnancy is hard enough. Being treated like your struggles are just par for the course, nothing out of the ordinary, a case of the good old "baby blues" ... that's just too much to bear.

Did you experience prenatal depression?


Image via Chris Michaels/Flickr

emotions, pregnancy health, pregnancy symptoms


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nonmember avatar Justsayying

Im probably going to sound like a douchbag but if you are severely depressed and need medication you should really think about having children because one: youre depressed and if its clinical it will always be there and no a baby wont make you happier most of the time. Two: if you are on medication there is a chance your baby will have abnormalities. Three: why bring a child to earth when youre a depressed person incapable of feeling happy ? Sounds to me like a bad idea all around. Im sure im going to get a lot of shit for it but just my two cents... for women who fall into depression while pregnant as a symptom, having a therapist or someone to talk to is WAY healthier than pilling it up. No, i did not get pregnancy depression.

Maxim... MaximumAsh

Honestly, I'm 6 months pregnant... This has been the longest and most painful 6 months of my life. The same week I found out I was pregnant, I also found out my boyfriend had been sleeping with someone who was supposed to be my friend. Be nearly got her pregnant but he didn't miss giving me chlamidya. I have decided to try and forgive him and move on... But all I wan to do is die and I still feel dead inside... I cry constantly and I'm scared to go to my doctor about my pain... If there was any chance that taking anti depressants could harm my son, I can't take the risk...

I know I'll survive... And these pregnancy hormones make surviving this affair all the harder. I love my boyfriend and I love my son. And I will keep trying to do what I can for the both of them.

nonmember avatar laura

i WAS depressed during pregnancy and post partum with both of my boys. i have depression when my hormones are out of whack...hence during pregnancy. i didn't deal with it with my first because i thought i was just dealing with getting pregnant while on the pill and 3 weeks after getting married. i did what i needed to with him once he was born, but at 3 months i didn't love him or do the things i did because of motherly love...it was instinct. i was on medication at the 3rd trimester with my second child. i was having fight or flight reactions to strangers and even to my oldest. it WAS THE BEST OPTION. i am not always clinical, but i am more susceptible. it is hard knowing so many people LOVE being pregnant and I don't. it is hard feeling alone while depressed because everyone else thinks you should be stoked you are having a baby. it is hard to feel so alone when it is real and people don't get why you are sad at such a miraculous time of your life! depression isn't fun EVER, but while pregnant you have really no sympathy!!!

easun... easunshine

Yes, I suffered from antepartum depression. Yes, it is very common. Yes, there are safe medications for pregnancy. Yes, the first poster sounds like a douchebag who clearly lacks any real education or knowledge of depression. It's so rude to dole out advice on subjects you're ignorant in.

Littl... LittleFrogsMA

I do not suffer from clinical depression.  I did have both prenatal and postpartum depression.  Prenatal iwth both during hte second trimester.   Postpartum with my second.   Though to be honest, how much of that was my husband's bad behavior with the second I will never know.


A low level dosage of antidepressants during the second trimester kept me stable and sane.  

stork... storkneedsgps

The first poster is very uneducated. Depression is a medical condition, just like diabetes, asthma or anything else. It needs to be treated, usually with medicine or therapy. I've never been pregnant but I do have pmdd which as very real symptoms emotionally that I can't always control due to hormonal imbalances, which is part of the reason I'm having trouble getting pregnant

nonmember avatar JesmesMami

I am 19, engadged, and 27weeks pregnant. I am not depressed but rather going through the many stages of hormones during pregnancy. I hate when I am feeling "over emotional" as most say, and have nowhere to turn... So I just break down an cry while in the checkout at walmart or when ordering taco bell. I get embarressed, feel like whatever is upsetting me is mh fault, then feel worse because all I ever hear is "dont stress, dont get upset... Its bad for the baby..." I wish I could talk to someone who could help by being more understanding, but as for medication for it? I rather not go there. To many risk for my baby girl...

Evaly... EvalynCarnate

I suffer from Bi-polar disorder and made the decision to NOT take my medication once I found out I was pregnant (at 5 weeks), Its hard finding a balance of good meds that arent harmful IMO, but councelling helps and having a good open relationship with your doctor and a good support system at home does wonders. I do, however, plan on going back on my medication as soon as I give birth/breastfeed.

Laurlev Laurlev

I'm struggling with symptoms of depression but I know it's caused by insomnia and pain caused pelvic joint dysfunction.

LifeI... LifeIsForLOLZ

First poster is right and does sounds like a doucebag!

if you are severely an asshole you need medication you should really think about having children because one: youre an asshole and always will be there and no a baby will make you any less of an asshole <---  a slab of perspective lol

Clinical Depression can have specific triggers, usually related to feelings of hopelessness and inadequacy, there is no resson to think a child would be the trigger unless it has been proven without a doubt, to be a trigger for that individual for previous children.

Depression in pregnancy is an entirely different kettle of fish, and is not a sign of something wrong with the woman, she could just be having a tough pregnancy, lack of sleep, or be triggered by the hormones and be an extension of the baby blues.

I wouldn't worry depression doesn't mean your a bad parent or even an incapable one, I'm sick of so called proffessionals telling us if you have A B and C then X Y and Z it's not as simple as that and everybody is different.

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