Pregnancy depression

Everyone expects you to be overflowing with happiness to expect a baby. Yes, you are very happy to have a baby, but now you are not really thrilled. They are indeed downright unhappy. Worse, you feel guilty about being so unhappy and that makes you even more depressed.

Read below what this may be and how you can get help.

You are not alone with this problem!

Pregnancy can be a very happy time, but not always and not for every woman. Almost ten percent of pregnant women suffer from depressive episodes. So it's nothing to be ashamed of - even though you've always been told that pregnancy is a time of joy (Borton 2010, Dennis et al 2007, NCCWCH 2008: 118). Do not be persuaded that these are the typical mood swings of a pregnant woman. Because depression means more than feeling sad or bad. And if you do not get the help you need now, it can become a serious problem for you.

Which symptoms are typical for pregnancy depression?

Depression can affect your physical well-being, your psyche and also your behavior (NCCMH 2010: 17-18). You may also have trouble communicating with others about your condition - even with your doctor (NCCMH 2010: 99).

Although the symptoms may be different for each pregnant woman (NCCMH 2010: 17-18), there are some that are more common. Here we have listed which symptoms are typical for pregnancy depression. If you suffer from some of them, this could be a clear sign of depression:

Inability to concentrate

  • Anxiety
  • Extreme irritability
  • Sleep problems
  • Extreme or prolonged dullness
  • The constant or no desire to eat at all
  • listlessness, joylessness
  • prolonged sadness
  • you feel whiny and helpless (NCCMH 2010: 18)
  • What could be the causes of my pregnancy depression?

Some experts believe it's the pregnancy hormones that sometimes play a bit crazy while your body tunes in to the nine-month pregnancy (Borton 2010) ... Even though the hormonal ups and downs affect every pregnant woman, some women feel these vibrations much more intense.

Stress during pregnancy, especially if you already have children, can make you more prone to depression (Borton 2010, Borthwick et al 2004, NCCMH 2007).

Other potential triggers for depression may be relationship issues or lack of funds (Borton 2010).

Other Possible Reasons:

Depressive Disorders

If you have had a history of depressive illness in your family or you may be prone to depression during pregnancy (NCCMH 2007: 92, PRODIGY 2008a, NHS 2011) , Stressful Living Conditions

Are you moving into a larger home because of your pregnancy? Do you have trouble at work? Have you separated from your partner? Any major change in your life, such as a move, separation or job loss, can cause depression (Dennis et al 2007). Pregnancy Problems

Severe morning sickness can ruin your pregnancy, for example. Even if the pregnancy came as a surprise, it can affect your psyche - as well as a problematic previous pregnancy or a difficult birth with complications (Dennis et al 2007, RCOG 2011).

Infertility or Previous Pregnancy Losses

If you have had many difficulties getting pregnant, or you have had a miscarriage in the past, you will be concerned about the safety of this pregnancy (Blackmore et al 2011). Physical or mental mistreatment in the past

A pregnancy can aggravate painful memories a woman has suffered through emotional, sexual, physical or verbal abuse (Borton 2010, NCCWCH 2008). Your body is changing beyond your control, and that can bring some long-buried legacy issues to the fore (Flach et al 2011). Loss of control over your changing body may reflect the loss of control in your past. How can I cope with my problems?

Talk about it

Even if it may not be easy for you, talk to your doctor or midwife about your condition. They know how to help you (NCCWCH 2008: 118). And even if you feel that you are feeling worse, speak it up again (NHS 2011). Take It Easy

Resist the urge to do as much work as possible before the baby comes. You'll think you need to set up the nursery, clean the house, or get as much of your job as possible before you go to maternity leave. But this is wrong. Write yourself at the top of your to-do list. You will not have much time left when the baby is around. Read a book, have breakfast in bed, or meet a friend. Take care of yourself - this is an important prerequisite for taking good care of the child. Share the Family

Even if you prefer to crawl into a shell, talk to your partner, family and friends about your fears and problems.Your support can help ease your worries and give you strong support. Keep moving

Even - or just - when you feel tired and tired, you should go for it and move regularly. A bit of sport can help lighten your gloomy mood (Borton 2010, NCCMH 2010: 202). Try swimming, walking or pregnant yoga - these are all good sports during pregnancy. Find Help

If you've been trying to get out of a depressive hole for two weeks but nothing seems to help, you should seek help from a therapist. You need to find someone to make you feel safe and trust. Also, antidepressants could be useful. Talk to your doctor about what is suitable for pregnant women. In addition, there is the possibility of accompaniment with psycho-balancing acupuncture. And the use of Bach flowers has already shown a stabilizing effect on many women. Get in contact with a midwife at an early stage (eg via the BDH), who may bring along such additional qualifications or can refer you further. When do I have to worry about pregnancy depression?

Become suicidal, feel unstable and unable to fulfill your daily obligations or have panic attacks, then talk to your doctor or midwife immediately. Visiting a therapist or psychiatrist is not a sign of weakness. It is a sign that you are a good mother who takes all the necessary steps to take good care of herself and the baby.

What will happen if my baby is born?

Unfortunately, there is a link between severe depression during pregnancy and postpartum depression (Dennis et al 2007: NCCWCH 2008: 1188). But if you do a therapy during pregnancy, you have a good chance that it will not be the case with you.

In addition, you should set up a support network - consisting of your partner, family members, friends, your doctor, or therapist. Then you also have help when your baby is born.


Austin MP, Lumley J. 2003. Antenatal screening for postnatal depression: a systematic review. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica 107: 10-17

Austin MP, Priest SR, Sullivan EA. 2008. Antenatal psychosocial assessment for reducing perinatal mental health morbidity. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews Issue 4. Art. : CD005124

Blackmore E, Côté-Arsenault D, Tang W, et al. 2011. Previous prenatal loss as a predictor of perinatal depression and anxiety. British Journal of Psychiatry, ePub ahead of print 3 March 2011, doi: 10. 1192 / bjp. bp. 110. 083105

Borton C.2010. Depression in pregnancy. Patient UK. www. patient. co. uk [Accessed October 2011]

Borthwick R, Macleod A, Stanley N. 2004. Antenatal Depression: Developing an Effective and Co-ordinated Service Response. Social Work Department, Faculty of Health and Social Care, University of Hull. www. positivelypregnant. org. [Accessed October 2011]

Dennis C-L, Ross LE, Grigoriadis S. 2007. Psychosocial and psychological interventions for treating antenatal depression. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2007, Issue 3. Art. : CD006309. www. mrw. inter science. wiley. com [Accessed October 2011]

Flat C, Leese M, Heron J, et al. 2011. Antenatal domestic violence, maternal mental health and subsequent child behavior: a cohort study. BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology. doi: 10. 1111 / j. 1471-0528. 2011. 03040

MHRA / CHM. 2010. Fluoxetine: possible small risk of congenital cardiac defects. Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency / Commission on Human Medicines. Drug safety update 3 (8). www. MHRA. gov. uk [accessed October 2011]

Nakhai-Pour HR, Broy P, Bérard A. 2010. Use of antidepressants during pregnancy and the risk of spontaneous abortion. Can Med Assoc J 10: 1503. www. CMAJ. ca [pdf file, accessed October 2011]

NCCMH. 2007. Antenatal and postnatal mental health. National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, Clinical Guideline. Leicester: British Psychological Society and The Royal College of Psychiatrists. www. nice. org. uk [pdf file, accessed October 2011]

NCCMH. 2010. Depression:. The treatment and management of depression in adults. National Clinical Practice Guideline90. National Collaborating Center for Mental Health. www. nice. org. uk [pdf file, accessed October 2011]

NCCWCH. 2008. Antenatal care: routine care for the healthy pregnant woman. National Collaborating Center for Women's and Children's Health, Clinical Guideline. London: NICE www. nice. org. uk [pdf file, accessed October 2011]

NHS. 2011. Pregnancy care planner: your feelings and emotions. www. nhs. uk [Accessed October 2011]

Pedersen LH, Henriksen TB, Vestergaard M, et al. 2009. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors in pregnancy and congenital malformations: population based cohort study. BMJ. 23: 339: b3579

PRODIGY. 2008a. Depression: antenatal and postnatal - management: Clinical topic. www. prodigy. clarity. co. uk [Accessed October 2011]

PRODIGY. 2008b. Nausea and vomiting in pregnancy: Clinical topic. www. prodigy. clarity. co. uk [Accessed October 2011]

RCOG. 2011. Operative vaginal delivery. Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Green-Top Guideline, 26th London: RCOG press. www. rcog. org. uk [pdf file, accessed October 2011]

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