Depression During Pregnancy: antepartum depression
Feeling depressed during pregnancy is known as antepartum or antenatal depression. Some common terms for it are prenatal depression and perinatal depression.
Most of us have heard of postpartum depression and now the world is starting to openly talk about it more (yay postpartum depression survivor here)
The truth is, many expecting moms are suffering silently with pregnancy depression.
It is estimated that 14-23% of pregnant women experience some type of depression. That’s coming from The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
With my third pregnancy I suffered from antepartum depression in the first trimester. I want to help you make the most of your pregnancy because I too have gone through this.
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If you are experiencing any type of depression you should seek help and go to your doctor, if you are having feelings of suicide here is the number to the suicide prevention center. 1-800-273-8255
I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice – this is my story on antepartum depression and how I coped with it and what happened to me. Always consult your doctor with any feelings or symptoms you are worried about.
Get the Happy Pregnancy Affirmations Sheet to make sure you are in the right mindset daily during your pregnancy! Fill Out The Form Below For Easy Access!
Why Do I Feel Depressed When I Should Be Happy I’m Pregnant?
Expecting moms go through it but pregnancy depression is something that is not talked about. Making us (expecting moms with depression) feel horrible for not being “happy”.
Depression is a mood disorder caused by chemicals in the brain. It is not something you can turn on and off. It is an imbalance of hormones (which pregnant women have a lot of) that can make you feel horrible, anxious, scared, nervous and yes even angry.
You can get help and you can enjoy this pregnancy. Always talk to your OB / Doctor / Midwife about how you are feeling.
Related: No Pregnancy Symptoms In First Trimester (is it normal?)
What Are Symptoms In Depression During Pregnancy
Signs and symptoms of antenatal depression:
- Loss of interest in things you normally love
- Inability to Sleep
- Can’t distinguish dreams from reality
- Sleeping too much
- Frequent Anxiety about your baby
- Frequent Anxiety about Yourself or how you’ll be as a mother
- Loss of Sexual Drive
- Smoking, Drinking, Using Drugs
- Decrease in appetite
- Wanting to hurt yourself
- Feelings of suicide
What Causes Depression During Pregnancy?
I guess we could say that hormones are to blame.
- Domestic Violence
- Abuse of any kind
- Family Issues
- Marriage Issues
- Financial Stability
Remember those are just major things that can trigger depression. It can be anything that brings depression on to your pregnancy.
What If My Depression Makes Me Feel Suicidal?
Feelings of suicide should always be talked about with your OB and your partner.
If you can’t see your doctor right away try calling this number to talk to a person in the suicide prevention hotline: 1-800-273-8255
Remember that this world is better with you in it.
If you are having thoughts of suicide or self harm please call this number: 1-800-273-8255
Having Antepartum Depression After A Miscarriage
Most women who have a miscarriage or a molar pregnancy tend to feel more cautious and anxious about their next pregnancies.
That is normal especially if you experienced a miscarriage and then became pregnant right away.
We need time to mourn the baby before we can move on and try again.
Can A Baby In The Womb Feel Your Emotions?
Your baby can feel hormones that pass through your body to their body. This means that if you are stressed, feel anxious your body creates certain hormones that YES pass through to your baby.
This can in turn cause distress to your baby. So keep those thoughts happy and try to do things that will help you relax.
Can Crying Cause Harm To Baby In The Womb?
In short crying itself does not cause harm, like mentioned above stress induced crying can cause your body to create stress-hormones that affect baby.
Baby’s who had stress and anxious pregnant mothers were more likely to be colicky and have some form of depression later on in life.
-Source: The American Academy Of Pediatrics
What Can I Do To Ease My Depression During Pregnancy? 10 Things To Try Now
If you are feeling sad during pregnancy or are having feelings of depression these small tasks can help you alleviate those feelings and improve your overall mindset!
1. Talk To Your Doctor
The first thing you want to do is tell your partner and your doctor. Your doctor may prescribe pregnancy safe medication that can help to ease your depression symptoms.
Depending on how your visit with your OB goes you will probably start some medication regime.
2. Have A Sleep Schedule
If your sleep patterns are irregular you may want to try doing a bedtime routine. Not only will this prepare you for baby’s bedtime it will help you fall asleep easier.
Another thing you can do is get a pregnancy pillow. Use code: craftymom40 to get a free pregnancy pillow (just pay shipping).
Having a pregnancy pillow can help ease any back tension, leg cramps, and provide support for your growing belly.
3. Share Your Feelings
The third thing you want to do is talk about what you are feeling. Either with your partner, your mom, best friend. Whoever you trust and know they will be honest with you.
Talking out loud about how you feel, makes those around you aware that you are going through something that they may not have noticed.
Remember that your family and friends cannot read your mind.
If they ask you how you are feeling and you say fine and fake a smile. Your family may believe it. Learn to talk about how you’re really feeling.
4. Write It Down
Take a few minutes and write down how you feel. Especially if you are not good about talking about how you feel.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself as you write
- What was the best part of my day
- What was the worst part of my day
- How can I make tomorrow better
- One thing I know is true
- Two things that make me laugh
- How can I make tomorrow easier for myself, partner
- Am I craving certain foods
Ask yourself these questions as you work through your writing.
This is my favorite journal that I used throughout my whole pregnancy. It’s great for documenting you day to day to really look back on and see how much you grow as a person and a mother.
5. Take A Walk
Get some fresh air. If you are at work, take a little break and walk around the parking lot.
If you are at home go around the block.
It doesn’t have to be a marathon, just get some air, some sunlight and walk for a few minutes.
Having sunlight on your body is a proven way to increase the ‘feel good’ chemicals in your brain.
Related: Not Having Pregnancy Symptoms (is it normal?)
6. Healthy Prenatal Care
You want your body to be healthy, you want your mind to be healthy too. This is one depression during pregnancy tip that can apply to all your pregnancies now and further down the road.
Here are a few ways you can do just that:
- Go to all your OB appointments
- Take your prenatal vitamins
- Drink water regularly
- Walk around, exercise
- Get sunlight
- Take medications if needed
- Take extra B12 vitamins
- Eat healthy foods
Here is a list of 33+ healthy pregnancy snacks!
7. Keep Your Medication Going
If you get prescribed medication and start to feel better in the following weeks – you have to keep taking your medication.
It is like when you get a bacterial infection just because the wound on the outside looks better does not mean you have to stop taking your antibiotics.
The same applies with the medication your doctor gives you. Only a medical professional should tell you when to stop taking the medication.
8. Be Constant With Your Partner
It may feel like the weight of the world is on your shoulders when you have feelings of depression, anxiety, anger.. the best thing you can do for your relationship is keep it constant.
Keep up the communication, go on dates, take a baby moon, try to get back in the grove of your life.
Do the things both of you normally love to do together. As hard as it might feel to get out of bed or to be romantic with your partner try it.
9. Educate Yourself
A great way to get the help you deserve is by learning about it.
By reading this post you are taking the first step in educating yourself on the topic of antenatal depression.
Your next step is to talk to your doctor, and get the adequate help you deserve!
Then keep reading, researching, and talking about it. Try affirmations, listen to podcasts about mental health, spirituality and things pregnancy.
It may just be the source to get you going even if just a little.
10. Try Affirmations For Pregnancy
Changing your mind is one of the hardest things to do. You can be physically healthy but your mind can make you feel like you are losing it.
Use the list of affirmations you can sign up right here for it, to help you daily change the way you look at your pregnancy.
Want to remember what you read? Pin the image below to your favorite Pinterest board
9 Things To Try When Feeling Depressed During Pregnancy
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Rosaura is the mom blogger who helps first time pregnant and postpartum moms find the solutions to their everyday problems. From first finding out you’re pregnant to giving birth and baby care, she has you covered.