Baby, Pregnancy, and Parenting Information

Antenatal Depression


Most of us have heard of post-partum depression. Sometimes called baby blues, this is the depression that can affect women anytime during the first year after their new baby is born. The statistics show that 10-20% of women will experience some form of post-partum depression after their baby is born. Most of these cases are easily controlled by medication that can be prescribed by the mother’s doctor or midwife.

What About Antenatal Depression?
Antenatal depression is less widely known and is depression that some women feel while they are pregnant, and it is more common than we think, but not nearly as common as post-partum depression, and generally not as severe. It can appear during any trimester of the pregnancy and can last until after the baby is born. But what causes it?

Any number of things can contribute to a woman being depressed during pregnancy. Hormones can be a factor, and the pregnancy can often leave her feeling overwhelmed, and unable to handle things. A woman’s current life situation and/or stress level might also be a contributing factor to her depression.

What Are Some Signs of Antenatal Depression?
There are many signs of antenatal depression, so always ask your provider for help in dealing with any problems you may feel you re facing. Some women might find it hard to get excited about their pregnancy and their baby. They might feel disconnected or feel like it is someone else who is having the baby, not them. They may not be able to feel a bond with the baby growing inside of them, even as the baby starts to move and kick.These are all feelings that many women experience, and it is always best to talk about how you are feeling with someone you trust.

Some outward signs that family, friends and co-workers might notice are the mother’s stress level going up, and her lack of patience increasing as well. Small things that used to not bother her may now be causing tears, shouting, or temper tantrums. She may pick fights with her family and friends, she may yell more and get frustrated at her previous children, for things that shouldn’t matter, or become frustrated by things that those around her may not even notice.

How Can You Help?
If you are the mother-to-be, and you experience any od these feelings, you should talk to your doctor, explain what is going on, and ask what can be done about it. There are anti-depressant medications that can be taken while pregnant, which may help reduce your feelings of anxiety.

If you are a family member or friend, try to offer patience and support to the mother as she goes through this. If you aren’t sure she realizes it, ask her how she is feeling and suggest she talks to her doctor. If you attend her appointments with her, casually bring it up as a concern when you both talk with her doctor, and see if they have advice on what can be done. Let the doctor help the mother-to-be, as he or she may offer solutions to help the mother-to-be enjoy the experience of her pregnancy.

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12 Responses to “Antenatal Depression”

  1. 12
    cheri Says:

    I ma 23 weeks pregnant with my third and this one was completely unplanned. My partner and I didn’t think he can have kids but here I am pregnant with his son and my mood swings are horrible. I actually get in his face and curse and scream and ignore him for days at a time. I mean it doesn’t help that he is a mamma boy that goes crying to her with every little problem. I have had my share in the past with an abusive ex husband so I became stronger willed since then and don’t back off from an argument. My partner was watching my 6 year old son on Saturdays so I can work and this past week he completely disappeared. now, I am stressing more and more everyday and I know its not good for me or the baby knowing my job is stressful enough everyday. He says he wants to talk but how do I just talk without starting an argument or getting loud? I have a doctor appointment this week coming and I think I will mention it to the doctor if there is something to help me control my mood swings. thank you everyone

  2. 11
    Jade Says:

    I am 19 weeks pregnant. Was also an unplanned pregnancy but was over the moon! I have suffered 5 miscarriages so I find it really hard to believe ive made it this far and this baby is going to make it. Although I already love her yo pieces I find it hard to get excited incase it happens to me again! My mood swings were never bad… Until one day I lashed out on my partner.. I hated myself afterwards and scared myself! Its now happened 3 times and I just dont know who I am any more! My partner might not do the right things at times but he doesnt deserve to be treated this way! Any time ive tried to talk to a doctor i get too embarrased to admit what I have done. I have mentioned everything up to the part before I physically attacked my partner but I just get shoved off as it being anxiety from my past miscarriages. Any advice please?

  3. 10
    The High Cost of Kids Infographic | Jill Will Run Says:

    […] with depression and I’m worried about postpartum depression. I have been dealing with antenatal depression this whole pregnancy. Having kids just amplifies that forever and makes my husband […]

  4. 9
    Candice Says:

    I’m so glad to hear i’m not crazy hearing everyone else I do have crying out burst sometimes and being the mother of 5 other childreb is some what over welming plus I stopped working so there’s more depending on my bf this is his first kid and with my other ones sometime’s I think it’s alot on him I do eat more too now i’m happy about the baby expecially when I feel her move now at 22 wks i just feel so helpless since I got bigger now I know what is I can talk to my dr thanks for sharing

  5. 8
    antenatal depression | LightElement Says:

    […] depression Posted on January 29, 2011 by editor Antenatal Depression | Health & Safety | Baby, Pregnancy, and … Most of us have heard of post-partum depression. Sometimes called baby blues, this is the […]

  6. 7
    allie Says:

    I’m 36 weeks pregnant, I started suffering from this the moment I found out I was pregnant at 6 weeks. At 14 weeks, I went to a mental facility to figure out why I was having outbursts and wanting to end my life. The drs sent me home and told me nothing was wrong with me, I’m just stressed out. My relationship with my husband was very rocky, we had only been married a month when we found out, and I had received an athletic scholarship that I obviously had to back out of after signing. We didn’t have a stable place to live, we didn’t have a lot of food in the home, I didn’t have insurance, we didn’t have any money, I couldn’t keep a job because everytime I got hired somewhere they would find out I was pregnant and cut my hours, which made it to where it cost more to get to work then what I was making. Around 6 months pregnant is when my outbursts became very noticable. I turned violent towards my husband, I would sleep all day, I wouldn’t eat, and I had no kind of excitement for my pregnancy whatsoever. I stayed like that for about another 5 weeks until a family member allowed us to move in with her to keep an eye on me. I’ve found that being around people and just talking about it helps, but being on an antidepressant really has helped the most! Although I still suffer from outbursts and feelings of guilt and wanting to isolate myself at times, I’m able to be more social, to get up and take care of myself, I’m starting to feel like a person again. I wish I would have been diagnosed with this a lot earlier in my pregnancy. I’m not sure what causes it for other women but I know what caused it and made it worse for me. -unplanned pregnancy, rocky relationship, no family support, being called crazy and psycho, moving around a lot, not being able to always eat, being alone constantly, and giving up my scholarship. This disease is not a joke. And women, if you even for a minute think you’re depressed, please talk to your dr and do not let them under diagnose you. It’s your health and the health of your baby at risk.

  7. 6
    uc Says:

    I suggest that you consider pre-natal yoga and meditation as relaxation techniques, instead of taking anti-depressants whose effects on the baby are still not known.
    Been there, done that. It helps.

  8. 5
    jess Says:

    well, have some mood swings after sex , sometimesi will feel like i am alone even if sex was good. this may explian my not so enthausitc attatuide. i hurd of post par.. depression but not Antenatal Depression, this aritcle was hepfull, glad im not alone

  9. 4
    ayu Says:

    not sure whether im suffering frm depression or not…but i easily break dwn…due to that my appetite will be gone…n cn go w/o food till the nxt day…

  10. 3
    cheryl Says:

    i am 31 weeks pregnant and feel i am suffering from this i have some of the symptoms but not all!! i am a mum already to 2 children but there is a big age gap(9 yrs) between my youngest and this baby i have feeling of anxioty and also resentment 2wards my partner because of some money troubles at home we have been arguing alot lately about this and whn i try 2 explain my feelings it just makes the arguments worse im scared of loosing him but i dnt feel some1 who hasnt had depression cnt understand it. all he says 2 me is wht do i have 2 b depressed about i have everything i cud need/want but been depressed isnt about wht u have or dnt have its an illness .

  11. 2
    sarah Says:

    I am a mental health professional and work in the field of suicide prevention. It is my experience that antepartum depression can be every bit as “severe” as post partum depression. I have worked with many women who have attempted suicide in the throws of antepartum depression. It can be very serious and should be taken every bit as seriously as post partum depression. Just because antepartum depression is not as well studied as postpartum depression does not mean it is not as significant, severe, or prevelant.

  12. 1
    April Says:

    I experianced this with my last son and did not realize what this was. Now, I am pregnant with my third child (found out only 4 days ago) and I have been crying ever since. Don’t get me wrong, we want this baby. It’s just that everything I’m feeling is exactly as this article explains. I feel isolated and alone, as if no one understands or cares. I’m finding it difficuly to be happy about this pregnancy. Thanks for this information. Now I know that it’s not just me, that it’s a medical condition. Now, I can discuss this with my doctor and get a treatment. Again, thanks so much.

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