Depression During Pregnancy

11

rainboots in rainThere is a commercial for HSBC on TV where a woman says about her baby "It took me three months to love him" and she concluded with "Now I can't imagine my life without him." I felt really confused.

After thinking about it more, I realized she was probably suffering from postpartum depression. But depression doesn't always happen after birth; you can get depressed during pregnancy, too.

I've had moments of feeling depressed -- mostly in my first trimester when I was nauseous all the time and sadly, it's returning now in my third trimester.

It's getting more difficult for me to do simple things like walking up stairs. I cannot get comfortable enough to sleep through the night, and my feet and hands are very swollen and ache. My face is starting to get chubbier as well. All these things get me down, yes, but make no mistake, I am so happy to be having twins and I wouldn't change that. But I do have moments where I feel really sad.

Depression is sadness, but it also can include feelings of emptiness or hopelessness. It can make you feel irritable, weepy, and affect your sleep -- either by too much or too little.

I talk to my husband when I feel this way and he's been immensely helpful, always helping me snap out of it, letting me focus on the positive. Our walks around our neighborhood and setting up the nursery get me out of my funk right away. My doula is coming over today and I'm going to talk with her about it as well. Plus, we're going to be doing some meditation and breathing exercises, so I know this will help and be a tool I can turn to when I am feeling down.

There was an article published last year in US News & World Report that says 12 to 14 percent of expecting mothers experience depression during pregnancy. It's not just dangerous for mom but also for baby -- there is a higher chance of preterm delivery, low birth weight, and having postpartum depression as well.

Women who have had a history of depression are more at risk for depression during pregnancy.

Asking for help is always the best option -- quiet suffering can just make it worse.

Some doctors suggest working on stress reduction, a good diet, lots of water, a good night's sleep, and exercise, even if it's going for walks. I've found that being social with friends and family helps...even when I am not in the mood and feel like canceling plans. I always feel better after spending time with loved ones. Of course there are other treatments, depending on severity of depression, that can be discussed with a doctor.

Oh and that mother guilt so many people feel...it's there when we experience depression, too. Diana Dell, assistant professor of psychiatry and obstetrics-gynecology at Duke University Medical Center says, "This is a brain disease, it's not a character flaw, not a pull-yourself-up-by-the-bootstraps kind of thing. You don't have to tough it out."

Have you experienced depression during pregnancy?

 

Related posts

Sadness & Fear in Early Pregnancy

Prenatal Depression and Anxiety Support

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emotions, pregnancy health

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justa... justanotherjen

As a long time sufferer of depression it was unavoidable during pregnancy.  There's a difference in feeling depressed (being down) and being depressed (which is a chemical imbalance in the brain).  I keep my depression in check without meds but when I was pregnant with my 3rd child I just couldn't control it any more.  We had come back from a family reuinion where it became blatently obvious to me that my mother was gone (she had died 2 years earlier and it just hit so hard that moment).  Then I failed my 1 hr. glucose test and just lost it in the doctor's office.


I was nearly hysterical.  My OB put me on prozac for the remainder of my pregnancy.  I don' t know if it really helped.  I felt better but that could have happened without meds.  I took the prozac for 7 months then just stopped since it was no longer helping.


 

niami... niamibunni

Mom's early and questionable death in 2001 is really bothering me during my pregnancy. Managing diabetes, celiac disease and anemia has been a nightmare. Missing my family who are over 700 miles away. Granddad was just diagnosed with cancer. Family member just lost her pregnancy at 20 weeks. I'm alone most of the day and I haven't been able to make friends in the past 3 years since I moved up north, people in the north aren't friendly like people in the south.


Yep, I'm feeling depressed. Medications working? Nope. Have anyone to talk to? Nope. Fearing I won't bond with the baby? Yep.

athenax3 athenax3

In the beginning a bit, we weren't planning this last baby, and I had to change some major things in my life that i had been waiting a long time for (while the other kids got old enough for school) so I was a bit depressed at the notion that I would be putting my life BACk on hold for a few years (I think it's for the best, but it was discouraging at first), and now I'm a bit bleak because I'm huge and I don't feel like this baby is EVER going to GET OUT, VACATE< ARRIVE!! I'm just being impatient though, and I know it.

aluvk... aluvk4evr

I could go into every detail of my dealings with depression in the past, but it's not worth it. I just feel so ashamed as of now that with 3 weeks left in my pregnancy, I'm getting more depressed. I can't even pinpoint any triggers; it's like everything and everyone is getting me down. I'm mostly afraid that I will develop PPD worse than when I had my first child. My dreams have even started to reflect my ill emotions.

littl... littleredpony

My last pregnancy did trigger my depression for quite a while. For me it was fear based. Fear that I would miscarry again, fear that it would have a heart defect like 2 that I had lost (one in pregnancy and one at 5 days old), and yes, even fear that it would be another boy! I was unable to relax and feel something other than fear for the first 27 weeks, at that time we got the all clear, no defects, chances of prenatal death dropped to slim, and finally a girl after 3 boys.


I still have my moments now that she is here but it is getting better.

Joyan... JoyandLove

moms have to be watchful and take care of themselves and go to the doctor and tell them you are depressed.

damira damira

Yes I had prenatal depression with my first. I didn't have post partum though. (thankfully)

Cafe... Cafe Sheri

I experienced depression with my second pregnancy, and I felt badly about it too since I had two m/cs before that pregnancy and really wanted the pregnancy (my Leo!). Feeling bad about feeling bad only made things worse.


Talking about it was key for me. My husband was also really supportive and my OB even told me she would prescribe me meds if I wanted to try a low dosage, but it got a little better after I spoke to a counselor a few times. Thank goodness it was situational and temporary for me.


It really made my heart go out to people living with everyday depression. Bless the meds (or therapy or whatever!) that see some of them through!


Hang in there, M. It's hard!

cassi... cassie_locke

when my daughter was born i used to think she was in danger cause her father used to beat me up i got away from him from him before she was born for the first years of her life i did not want anyone to touch her not even a doctor these thoughts of fear knowing that someone could hurt her like her father hurt me made want to hurt anyone that hurt her my fear was so bad when my hubby took her to subway one day i freak out and called the police on him cause i did not know where he took her i don't know if that is pdd or not that's just  something i had to deal with

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