Depression During Pregnancy

Pregnancy is meant to be one of the most joyful times of a woman life, with every flutter and kick inspiring excitement. However, for many women pregnancy is not the happy event that it should be. Research has indicated that as many as 1 in 10 women may experience antenatal depression at some point during their pregnancy. To help combat this debilitating condition, we look at how you can spot the symptoms of antenatal depression and show you how to get the support you need to get back on track.

worried pregnant woman

What causes antenatal depression?

Recent research suggests that women may be more susceptible to depression during pregnancy. It is possible that this may be due to a hormone imbalance, although it is likely that this would need to be combined with various stressors before the symptoms of depression begin to appear.

It is impossible to determine who will or will not be affected by antenatal depression, although there are certain factors which may increase your likelihood of developing the condition.

Particular risk factors include:

  • A personal or family history of depression
  • Physical problems during your pregnancy such as bleeding, severe morning sickness or miscarriage
  • Financial difficulties
  • Major stresses in your life, such the loss of a loved one or redundancy
  • Relationship difficulties
  • If you have previously suffered any form of abuse

Spotting the symptoms of antenatal depression

While it is completely normal to experience highs and lows in your mood during pregnancy, antenatal depression can result in a variety of life-altering symptoms. Some of the most common symptoms of antenatal depression include:

  • General and constant low mood
  • Lethargy, or extremely low energy levels
  • Reduction in self-confidence
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Inability to make decisions
  • Constant sadness and regular crying
  • Anxiety
  • Extreme irritability with everyone around you, including yourself
  • Difficulty finding any form of enjoyment
  • Sleeping much more or less than usual
  • Feelings of loneliness or isolation
  • Obsessive compulsive tendencies, such as obsessive cleaning
  • A fear of entering social situations or leaving your home
  • A noticeable increase or decrease in your appetite
  • Panic attacks
  • Suicidal thoughts or a desire to self-harm

Next: Finding support when suffering from antenatal depression >>

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