Is it normal to feel depressed during pregnancy?
Real Mom Problem
“Has anyone suffered severe depression while pregnant? I'm not in a good place at all. How do you deal with it? I'm not sure what to do.”
- 1. Talk about how you're feeling with a trusted friend or family member
- 2. Take care of yourself: eat well, get as much sleep as you can, and exercise
- 3. Remember that many moms feel depressed during pregnancy--you're not alone
- 4. Talk to your doctor or consult a therapist and consider medication
Real Mom Solutions
Having a baby is a beautiful and exciting experience, but not all moms experience an emotional pregnancy "glow." Depression during pregnancy is real and quite common, and there are ways to safely treat it. If you're having feelings of depression or despair, talk to your doctor, and see what these moms did to manage their depression during pregnancy.
Our Expert Mom Says...
Junior Leagues of California are celebrating the fact that May will be permanently designated "Perinatal Depression Awareness Month" in California. Their campaign entitled "Speak Up When You're Down" emphasizes that pregnant and new mothers can only benefit from the increased attention on this common illness.
Important points provided from the Nursing for Women's Health Journal include:
- One of the most devastating effects is that this depression occurs when most women feel they should be experiencing joy
- If you are worried, sad, nervous, irritable, or not sure, tell someone how you're feeling. A healthy pregnancy and postpartum period include mental health
- Mothers experiencing depression need to know that what they are feeling has a name and that it is treatable
The idea of preventing prenatal and/or postpartum depression is key. This includes realistic expectations of the pregnancy, the delivery and the new baby -- none of which can be controlled. We live in a society that is accustomed to being in charge of everything; this is a time in our lives to not only accept help -- you many need to ask for it. A new concept for the competent, self-sufficient women giving birth today!
Sarah McMoyler, RN, BSN and mother, is WebMD's Pregnancy Expert, and founder of McMoyler Method. As a specialist in labor and delivery nursing for more than 20 years, McMoyler has assisted in the delivery of more than 5,000 babies. Her personal view and in-depth professional experience has been integral to McMoyler Method's success in graduating more than 18,000 San Francisco Bay Area couples to confidently approach pregnancy, prepare for delivery, and care for their newborn babies.
McMoyler decided to make her popular method available to a broader audience by presenting McMoyler Method to a global audience through the release of a book titled The Best Birth: Your Guide to the Safest, Healthiest, Most Satisfying Labor and Delivery and the upcoming launch of a new online class.
Talk to Someone
I've felt depressed this pregnancy - I've found that when my husband takes me out, just him and I, and lets me talk, I feel refreshed and it eases things a bit.
I had pretty bad depression when I was pregnant with my first. I slept all the time and when I was awake I was crying. Talk to your doc! There are meds that can help, it's just about finding the right one! It is very important to have someone to talk to. Can you see your therapist more often? Or find someone you can see more regularly? I am starting to feel my depression coming back and tomorrow I am going to talk to my doc!
I try to keep my mind as busy as I can. I notice if I have time to think then I will get more depressed and anxious. Look online and see if they have a 'Celebrate Recovery' program in your area. It's free and it's sort of like weekly group therapy. It's been my only help! To get out and see people and be able to talk about what's going in makes a huge difference.
I've had depression in pregnancy before. It's a good idea to keep in touch with people and your doctor and let them know how you're feeling at all times.
Know You're Not Alone
Your hormones are all out of whack right now. I was depressed and moody a lot when I first conceived. Very normal.
I often feel that way. It was especially bad during my last pregnancy and ever since. Yes talk to your doctor. But also remember your hormones are going crazy and don't be hard on yourself.
Please do not feel ashamed. Getting help is so important and the best thing you can do for your children. A lot of anti-depressants are considered safe to use during pregnancy. Just discuss it with your doctor and they can get you on the right medication and dosage. Don't feel ashamed but 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 momma. I've been there so I know what it's like.
Medication Might Help
I'm taking medication. I'm 33 weeks and I can say it's helped me a lot. Don't be ashamed to talk to your doctor if you want or need help.
I have suffered with depression during my last two pregnancies. I finally decided to tell my midwife and I'm now taking medication. I have been seeing a counselor for about a year now also. I feel so much better since starting the meds. I was nervous but I trust my midwife. I was really nervous but I know that being depressed and anxious is not healthy for anyone. My midwife and counselor agreed. I really feel like I made the best choice for myself and my baby.