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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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13 Comments on "Antenatal Depression"

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4 years 2 days ago
I am 28 weeks pregnant & I’ve been suffering from depression and aniexty since a kid. Now that Im pregnant it’s even worse. I have crying out burst sometimes for the simple reason I always feel sad. I’m sad most of the time and lately it’s been really bad. I feel disconnected from my bf and we have been arguing alot lately. If I tell him how I feel then I’m being dramatic. I don’t have to much family support. My car just broke down so I bought a vehicle, but I have to fix a few things. the money… Read more »
6 years 13 days ago
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… Read more »
6 years 8 months ago
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… Read more »

[…] 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 […]

7 years 7 months ago
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… Read more »

[…] 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 […]

8 years 5 months ago
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… Read more »
8 years 8 months ago

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 years 11 months ago

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 years 1 month ago

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…

9 years 2 months ago
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.… Read more »
9 years 4 months ago

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.

9 years 10 months ago
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… Read more »
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