Pregnancy and Depression

You’ve had a rough first trimester. Just when everyone told you things would get better, you find yourself down in the dumps, extremely tired, and feeling like an emotional train wreck. You wonder if it is the hormones. You worry that right now, when you should be feeling elated and happy, your feelings of depression are a sign that something is wrong with you. And if you are like the hundreds of thousands of women who suffer through pregnancy with depression, you keep your feelings to yourself worried about being shamed by others.

Pregnancy and depression often go hand-in-hand. Around 1 out of 10 women suffer from depression during pregnancy. And recent research shows that the sudden surges and changes in hormones that occur throughout pregnancy, can and do in fact alter brain chemistry, which can bring on full bouts of depression.

Women who have had fertility issues or who endure fertility treatments are 10 times more likely to have depression during pregnancy. For women who have suffered with mental illness, anxiety or depression prior to pregnancy, the risk of depression darkening pregnancy is higher. Troubled relationships, family history of depression or mental illness, history of miscarriage and a high-risk pregnancy can also lead to depression during pregnancy.

One of the problems is that most people write off their mood swings or emotional instability to hormones or cliché moodiness in pregnancy, when the reality is that they are suffering from real depression. If you have depression, you might experience some of the following symptoms. Experts say if you’ve experienced three or more of these symptoms for more than two weeks, you should talk to your healthcare provider about whether you should see a therapist:

  • A sense that nothing feels enjoyable or fun anymore
  • Feeling blue, sad, or “empty” for most of the day, every day
  • It’s harder to concentrate
  • Extreme irritability or agitation or excessive crying
  • Trouble sleeping or sleeping all the time
  • Extreme or never-ending fatigue
  • A desire to eat all the time or not wanting to eat at all
  • Inappropriate guilt or feelings of worthlessness or hopelessness

Finally, mood swings with cycles of depression alternating with periods of an abnormally high spirits — including increased activity, little need to sleep or eat, racing thoughts, inappropriate social behavior, or poor judgment — are signs of a serious condition called bipolar disorder, which requires immediate attention.

While anxiety is normal during pregnancy, if your anxiety becomes too much to bear – or interferes with your ability to do routine things in your life, you should contact a healthcare provider as well.

The most important thing to realize is that YOU ARE NOT ALONE. There is no reason to live in shame, or to hide your feelings from others just because you are pregnant. If you talk to your healthcare provider, and your loved ones you will find that you can gain some resolution and hopefully, some peace. The good news is that pregnancy induced depression, when treated, most often dissipates within the first 12 months of having your baby.

Written By Stef, Mom of 4 @Momspirational

This information is not intended to replace the advice of a trained medical doctor. Health & Parenting Ltd disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information, which is provided to you on a general information basis only and not as a substitute for personalized medical advice. All contents copyright © Health & Parenting Ltd 2018. All rights reserved.

Team Health & ParentingPregnancy and Depression

Comments 37

  1. Wendy

    Fair play. I’ve never felt so ill. 9 and a half weeks and I feel rubbish all day every day 😢

  2. Blessed

    @tgirl. Try to stay positive hunny. I know easier said than done. I do not know if it helps however, when we were pregnant with our daughter, i bled pretty much on and off throughout the pregnancy. Even when we went to the hospital just for a check up when the doc had checked where babys head and pulled out his hand there was quite a bit of blood on his gloves. I panicked at the time as they stopped speaking english and began speaking french( we lived in the caribbean at the time) Anyway we had a beautiful healthy 9 and a half pound princess and it was a natural birth with the help of the epidural. I know it is easy to worry so hopefully that story helps spread some light xx

  3. Tgirl

    Am 9weeks 3day av been spotting & bleeding ,i cry for no course just feel depress & scared at tyms my 1st pregnancy i dnt wnt 2 loss my baby pls

  4. Cynthia

    I thought I was alone with this but I feel relieved each time I go through comments and see am not the only person..#strongmums#

  5. Lash

    Overall good article, but respectfully – being a sufferer of depression myself, I have to wonder if the person who wrote this has ever suffered depression? Purely because I find the “good news” really not so good when quoting “The good news is that pregnancy induced depression, when treated, most often dissipates within the first 12 months of having your baby.”… Anyone who has ever suffered depression would definitely not consider the potential of suffering a year after your babies birth “good news”.

  6. Monique

    I’m 9 weeks and 3 days prego. I’m on my 6th pregnancy but have had 1 miscarriage and 1 ectopic so this will be my 3rd live birth. This pregnancy has been the most difficult ive had spotting this whole time and get very scared that I will lose the baby I suffer from sever anxiety and depression I also suffer from bipolar disorder which makes me stress out more than I should any and everything make me upset. I find myself stressing over every little thing, since finding out I was pregnant i had to stop taking my medication for anxiety I’m going on a month and a half without my meds but to my surprise i haven’t felt as bad as I thought I would. My husband doesn’t help the situation somedays he acts like a grown man ready for a child but then he proves to me why I regret choosing him to father my child. This is his first child he’s come a long way from when we first met but he still has a lot of maturing and growing up. I just want what’s best for my child and myself. Good luck to all of you struggling with anxiety and any other mental Illnesses you are not alone 🙂

  7. Mati

    Hi! I am 9 weeks and 3days prago. I have suffered fisrt of anxity and kind of panik disorders. I took pils for a year but 4 months before getting prago i stop taking them and i felt really good. Now that i am prago i fill the anxity is back. I dont sleep very well. I wake up at 3 in the middle of the night and feel the need do go out cause i panik. Not every time but some nights yes. I want to sleep but i cant. There are days when i feel very well despite of the fatigue but feel positive. But when the night comes i start to fear it. Despite of all this i feel very happy that my baby is growing. I am woried of course becouse i dont want to take pils and i fear this. But i love this baby so much and i pray to God everything will be ok. My husbant and family are the best thing ever.

  8. Peggy

    At 9 weeks 3 days pregnant with my first child, 2nd pregnancy (miscarriage), I often have these feelings of worthlessness. I don’t enjoy company, I can’t seem to find joy in the things that once made me feel good. I cry for no reason and I don’t want to get out of bed..although I make myself.
    Sometimes I feel fine, I can interact and seem to feel normal and happy, but these feelings don’t seem to last long. My boyfriend of 5 years tries so hard to be supportive especially now that we’re pregnant but I don’t give him the time of day. I ignore him and sometimes I’m mean to him for no reason. Trying to cope and do what’s right is difficult for me…. what can I do?

  9. lasandra

    Troubled relationship I am glowing but I feel no confidence, M sad for no reason ,while others are happy , I get eggitated instantly, I blame the relationship M trying but if I think about t will t affect the baby ?

  10. Siti

    Im 9 weeks, im feeling worries bcoz i always feeling cold everyday. When i sleep in nite around 3 am suddenly i wake up because my hold body cold and shivering.

    In the morning im very scary to touch water during in bathroom. Huhuhu does anyone have feel like me before this?

    Im so stress now. 😭

  11. Eden

    9 weeks and 3 days today and the only thing that I’m having a hard time for is morning sickness. I have it all day that I can’t even keep anything down. I can eat a few then vomit afterwards. I’m really having a hard time and I wish this would end asap.

  12. Cleo

    I am 9 weeks and 3 days with my fifth child. This pregnancy came after a split from my ex-husband of 17 years and 1 year into a new relationship. My eldest child is 20 & youngest almost 11, so it’s a massive gap. Prior to falling pregnant I have been through so much with my health, family relationships and financial implications. Now, I am in a relationship that I am uncertain of because of his consistent flirting via social networks. He tries to reassure me that I am over analysing things as the females he is talking to are just friends or some ex he has maintained contact with. Due to that deep down feeling he is hiding something I have admittedly went through his messages. I have found messages where he would be telling other woman they are beautiful, amazing and asking for pictures etc. When confronting him he turns it around and implies I am searching for a reason not to trust him. I am currently numb and don’t have no feeling towards anything, especially the baby growing inside me. I feel so bad for this and guilty. I am worried that when the baby comes I will not bond with it. I am worried about what my eldest children will say when they find out let alone my bitter ex and the worst part of it all is that I am facing this alone. I hardly leave the house unless absolutely necessary, I have no friends or family to turn to. I am sorry for the lengthy post but just needed to get it off my chest to others who won’t judge me. Initially, I thought of abortion but quickly ruled it out because something deep down inside said that wouldn’t be right and I would regret it. I wish you all the success and joy throughout your pregnancy and beyond to all users.

  13. Darion

    I’m 9w 3d and I’m a sufferer of anxiety and depression pre-pregnancy my bad habits of not eating when something bad is happening or not being able to sleep seem to be haunting me again although I’ve been realy enjoying this pregnancy as its my first I can’t seem to shake the feeling that things are going to go wrong I’m suffering in my relationship at the minute and it doesent help that my partner stays out all the time and isn’t supporting me the way he should I just feel so alone 🙁

  14. Irene M

    I’m 9 weeks and 3days with my second child my first I had depression because of my child’s father and I gbroke up I had my mom at the time and friends to keep me busy so I got over it quick but now I have been very emotional and upset with my spouse for small things I’m losing what I built and it feels like my world is coming down on me I don’t want to lose my spouse how do I get over this please help me b4 I go crazy

  15. Lora Evon Hernandez Sanchez

    I am 9 weeks and 3 days today with my first and I am loving it. Ever since the very first sign of pregnancy I knew I was pregnant. I have had a great pregnancy. So far no morning sickness, no bleeding of the nose or gums. I just have bad headaches and back pain ( which I’ve always had trouble with my back ever since the 4th grade I was 10 years old then), but other than that I have been enjoying my pregnancy.

  16. sandra

    It feels good to know it not alone.am 9 weeks Nd 3 days with my third…did preggy has made me soon lazy getting up from the bed is anoda story…noting stays down..feeling nausea with everything I see..just can’t wait for did trimester to end so I can enjoy my preggy..tnx

  17. Thuraya

    This article came on time. I am 9 weeks & 3 days with my first pregnancy. I have been feeling bad, worried and maybe depressed. The eeason might be more because of my studies, I am doing a master degree overseas and pregnancy happened in the period where I should start writing my dissertation.

    Thanks god, the worst first two months have gone, morning sickness started to decrease.

    Still worried until I finish the coming 3 months and submit my dissertation.

    I hope every women experience much brightful pregnancy 🙂

  18. Lin.

    We have 4 healthy childeren, 13 years old, up to 21. Then 2 misscariages at 10 &12 weeks.
    Now pregnant of twins, 9w3d.
    I have to take iron supplements during the whole pregnancy on doctors prescript. Since yesterday the extreme is out of the fatique, regaining a bit of my energy.
    We hope & pray, these two may stay!

  19. Amina

    It’s always reassuring to know you’re not alone. Pregnancy has flipped my life upside down. The fatigue, nausea and heart burns prevents me from doing my daily routine, while the fact that I can’t , makes depression worse. Here I am, on the mobile, with loads n loads of work pending but not finding the energy or the mood for it.
    Prayer helps… But the problem is sometimes u lose faith too. Sigh! I’m waiting for my first trimester to end!

  20. Jihane

    Its really same what happened to me I am 9&4 days and my first pregnancy , I am student also so I miss classes , i cant concentrate , i cant eat or talk for no reason actually …I dont know when this feeling will ends , I dont like this bad mood

  21. Kate

    Hi everyone, I hope you are feeling better today. I am 9+3 today and I have cried non stop this week. I feel isolated and angry, irritated and just all over the place. I’ve suffered with anxiety thoughout my life and I am constantly scared that my babies heart has stopped and I haven’t realised or I’ve not done something right and it’s guna make the pregnancy fail. This will b my third and I am exhausted, yet I can’t sleep and I can’t eat. I force myself to takes bites here and there for the sake of the baby, the whole time feeling like I can’t bare to chew it and swallow it. I have my 1st midwife meeting today so I may need to ask for a little help! It’s a relief to know that I am not alone, and I wish u all well.

  22. Najwane

    Hi Ladies. I am also in my 9th week of pregnancy with my second child. I must admit that there are days that i have no mood of doing anything. I vomit a lot and feel tired of this situation. I barely want to wear my clothes and prefer to stay in my pj all day long. But when i read your comments i knew that am not the only woman who feels miserable some days.
    Good luck to all of us

  23. Lisa

    All I can say I thank god we are not alone. I am 9 weeks and 3 days pregnant and have uncontrollable sobbing when nighttime hits. I all the sudden feel alone and can’t sleep at all (as I write this at 2:30 am). I have had anxiety issues most of my life, all I know is to trust in your loved ones to help guide you. My husband is the only one that helps me with my fits and truly calms me. It will be ok, it will get better, I am stronger than I know. That is my mantra when the darkness succumbs me. Thank you for listening.

  24. Cristina Budden

    I’m 9 weeks and 3 days pregnant and I suffer with hypermenesis gravidarum. I have a 3yrs old daughter but I can’t play or enjoy her company. I feel sick all the time and I think I’m now getting mentally ill. I salivate too much and feel disgusted by myself. I feel ugly and hopeless. My husband tries the best he can to help but I just feel I’m on my own. I have no family close by and friends don’t fully understand what is going on and most of them don’t even know what to say to me. I feel I’m losing myself. I had 3 miscarriages previous to this one and that makes matters worse in my head. I can’t sleep properly, eat or drink. My stomach hurts so much and I can’t help but to feel that I’m losing it all. Help!

  25. Kim

    I am 9 weeks and three days into my 4th pregnancy. My third was a miscarriage at 4 months last year…. It was a boy… I always feel overly exhausted to the point of wanting to nod off while driving, yet I can’t sleep worth a crap at night… When I do I have bad dreams… I have a husband but I feel like I am struggling alone. He tries… But I just feel like nobody understands where I am truly coming from… I am starting to hate where I am in life… Honestly, if it weren’t for the two kids I have now, I would probably just pick up and move completely away and take my Mom with me….. The one person in this world who knows me completely and seems to soothe my soul no matter what I’m going through… I’ve gone through depression before, and I’m sure my hormones don’t help matters, but at this point… I just don’t know… I am more than physically exhausted, I am mentally exhausted too…. I am just tired all the way around….

  26. Tiffany

    I am 9 weeks pregnant and this is my first pregnancy. I don’t know if what I’m feeling is just hormones or if I am suffering from depression. I feel like I’m going crazy, I just want to cry all the time. I’ve been with my boyfriend for going on 5 years now and we’ve always had our ups and downs but ever since I got pregnant it seems as if everything has gotten worse. I get very angry all the time, very emotional and I just yell at him every day. I don’t know what to do or how to handle this.

  27. Kate

    I’m 9 +3 weeks with my first. The constant sickness & tiredness is causing me to feel so miserable. I hardly leave my house these days, and if I do I just keep worrying about being sick when out. My husband has been amazing, but I feel like my mood/attitude may be “bogging” him down a bit now. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

  28. Amy

    I’m 9 weeks, 3 days along. This is my 3rd pregnancy, I have a 3 year old and had a miscarriage in September. This pregnancy has been absolutely horrible so far, I keep having unexplainable lower abdomen pain that has brought me to the ER twice, I get released with no information as to why I hurt so bad. I’m relieved to know baby is doing good but absolutely irritated that they can’t figure out what’s wrong. The pain is worsened by physical activity, working out, sweeping, mopping and vacuuming (I do custodial work once a week on top of doing it at home) and the worst part is how it’s negatively affecting my job as a massage therapist. I have a history of miscarry in my family and for myself, that’s always scary. I have a history of depression and anxiety as well. What has really sparked my depression is being alone, I’m not single per se, but I absolutely feel like it. My husband is in Basic Training for the ARMY and he won’t be done with all his training until February 19, baby is due March 13. He helped me sooo much when I was pregnant before, with chores and errands, massaging my back and feet, getting me whatever I was craving, cleaning the bath and running a bubble bath for me, he helped me get out of bed and get up from sitting down when my belly got big. Now I’m all alone, trying to take care of myself and a needy 3 year old. He might get a week off in October and a few days over Christmas but that’s it. Family and friends said they’d help out but when it comes down to it, no one is there when I need someone. Everyone has their own lives, jobs, kids and family. Some family and friends live too far away too. With my health issues and missing so much work paying for counseling or therapy is out of the question. I’m struggling to make ends meet as is. Any prayers, well wishes or advice will be appreciated.

  29. Charli

    I suffer with bad anxiety and had literally stopped taking anti depressants the day I found out I was pregnant! I was worried that my anxiety would heighten due to hormones and lack of medication etc.
    I have had a few bouts of quite bad anxiety since stopping my meds but I feel overall that I’m in a pretty good head space! I hope that I can continue to fight the anxiety whilst doing the best I can to stay physically healthy for me and my baby!

  30. laura

    I’m 9 weeks pregnant and I’m finding it difficult to go a day without crying. This is my first pregnancy, and I have a history of miscarrying in my close family., I think I’m over that fear, but now I just can’t keep the tears from rolling, I sit in a quiet room and my mind starts to race… I’m not sure if it’s a sign of depression or if it’s just hormones…

  31. lisa

    Im 9 weeks pregnant right now.. And just like the others im still quite struggling.. I read this article about depression and it made me think that i may have one.. Its because me and my husband are the only ones in the house and whenever he goes to work, i kept on feeling that iam alone and with no one to talk to (literally).. But i cant talk to him about this, cause i know that what his doing is for me and our baby.. I kept on listing things i can do while his gone but always ends up not doing it 🙁 .. Cause when one of the things that i planned fails, i wont do the others things ive listed..

  32. hollie

    I got pretty lucky with this first pregnancy. I am 9 weeks and so far only have fatigue as a symptom. Its literally driving me crazy. I almost don’t feel like doing the important things like showering or brushing my teeth. I do it, but its a struggle. How does everyone else cope with that or is there something I could do that won’t make me as tired?

  33. Tess

    I’m nine weeks pregnant and my boyfriend and I are on bad terms. He doesn’t treat me right. At first, I ignored it because I didn’t want to raise my baby alone; however, I’ve realized that in order to effectively raise my child, I have to be emotionally stable. He and I have been on and off for two years. Sometimes, I wish I would have never given him a chance. I pray I get to a peaceful place with him. Besides, I’ll have to face him the rest of my life; even if he isn’t around and resenting my child would not be fair.

  34. leah

    Iam an hiv mother to be and my dictir told me to stop taking cipla actin pills as they do give me appetite .now I cant eat nothing and starting to loose weight pls help

  35. Lisa

    I am a first time pregnant mummy, I am finding it really tough at nine weeks it’s very early days, the extreme fatigue and sickness is driving me crazy as I’m a naturally busy person I work nights and am struggling to cope. I wonder daily if I’m depressed as even having a shower is to much to bear. I hope these are all normal emotions.

  36. Elizabeth

    I am a therapist who works with people suffering depression, anxiety and other common mental health problems. I suffered severe depression myself in my first pregnancy. Luckily, due to my training, I knew of a lot of techniques to help my mood some- such as making sure I got out of the house each day, still doing pleasurable activities and setting achievable goals to keep up with other activities (C.B.T. principles). I also spoke to my midwife and GP though and accessed Counselling to have a safe space to talk and work through how I was feeling. It’s very important that if you are pregnant/post-natal and notice that you’re struggling with your mood that you look after yourself and access the support that you need. After all, it’s what’s best for you and your baby 🙂 Xx