Depression during pregnancy

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.

reviewed 8/6/2019

Related stories
Disclaimer

This information is provided for educational purposes only. Individuals should always consult with their healthcare providers regarding medical care or treatment, as recommendations, services or resources are not a substitute for the advice or recommendation of an individual's physician or healthcare provider. Services or treatment options may not be covered under an individual's particular health plan.