Many women feel depressed, a bit down or blue after they give birth. But depression can occur during pregnancy as well. This may make it more difficult for a woman to take care of herself. For instance, according to the Office on Women's Health, depression during pregnancy can cause a woman to:
- Eat poorly.
- Not gain enough weight.
- Have trouble sleeping.
- Miss prenatal visits.
- Not follow medical instructions.
- Use harmful substances such as tobacco, alcohol or illegal drugs.
Depression during pregnancy can raise the risk of:
- Premature birth.
- Low birth weight.
- Problems during pregnancy or delivery.
According to the March of Dimes, a woman who is depressed feels sad or hopeless. She'll also have other symptoms that last two weeks or longer. These other symptoms include:
- Trouble sleeping or sleeping too much.
- Lack of interest.
- Feelings of guilt.
- Loss of energy.
- Difficulty concentrating.
- Changes in appetite.
- Restlessness, anxiety or slowed movement.
- Thoughts about suicide.
Note: Other conditions besides depression can cause some of the above symptoms. It's important to talk with your doctor if you have any of these symptoms.