Common Health Issues / Mental Health

Signs of Depression During Pregnancy: Causes and Treatment

What is Depression?

Depression is a medical condition that causes nervousness and upsets well-being of a person. Extreme mood swings tend towards negative feelings and result in non-participation of daily activities.

Depression and Pregnancy

According to medical survey, nearly thirteen percent of women go through a feeling of downheartedness during pregnancy. At this time abundant changes in hormones has a direct effect on chemicals situated in brain and these lead to depression. Some important signs of depression during pregnancy are as follows:-

  • When eating habits of a woman changes
  • If guilt feeling persists
  • Anxiousness
  • A feeling of hopelessness
  • Extreme changes in sleeping pattern like sleeping for very limited time or for a longer than normal period
  • Lack of concentration
  • Crying at the drop of a hat
  • Extreme weight loss
  • Extreme weight gain
  • Lack of appetite or even overeating
  • Usage of alcohol, drugs or tobacco

Causes of Depression While Pregnant

Causes of depression during pregnancy are different for every female and they may be because of following reasons-

  • Changes in hormones can create havoc amongst emotions of a woman
  • If patient has a history of depression then symptoms may carry forward during pregnancy
  • When a pregnant woman is having history of depression in her family, risk during pregnancy increases
  • If a patient is suffering from thyroid then thyroid hormones can lead to depression
  • Financial worries tend to create depression amongst many females as a new addition brings extra expenses
  • Physical discomfort because of pain and morning sickness starts taking a toll on well-being of a female. Coping with them regularly results in feelings of depression
  • New arrival tends to change equations and this feeling may result in anxiousness and later depression
  • If a woman has earlier faced a difficult birth or pregnancy then anxiety is common and it can cause depression
  • Earlier miscarriage can also create traumatic feelings

Treatment of Depression During Pregnancy

Treatment of depression during pregnancy is possible through medical assistance and lifestyle changes. Until and unless depression reaches a certain point that will prove harmful for baby and mother doctor do not advice oral consumption of medicines. It is better to go for following lifestyle changes:-

  • Rest as much as possible – In order to provide relief to body from restlessness it is necessary to take proper care of sleep through enough rest
  • Spending outdoor time – Nature has calming effect on a person. Taking walks and having picnics tend to reduce tension and despair as mood is freshened
  • Putting excessive workload on hold – If some work gives a feeling of too much work then it is sensible to avoid it so that anxiousness remains at bay
  • Eating healthy – Pregnancy requires eating balanced and healthy diet. Regular and evenly stretched meals keep a check on excessive hormonal changes thus keeping depression away.
  • Avoiding excessive sugar contents, alcohol, caffeine can help in dealing with depression
  • Exercise – Physical activities at regular intervals stabilizes mood and treats anxiousness with positivity
  • Spending quality time – Visiting family members and friends rejuvenates the mind and mood
  • Avoid dramatic changes – Dodging unnecessary stress is sensible at this time
  • Discussion of feelings – Speaking with the intention of clearing up issues will take away dejected feelings
  • Joining groups – Making time for linking with support groups is a positive endeavor that will help in positive spirits


This article is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

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Stephanie McClane About Author

Stephanie McClane is a mother of three and enjoys sharing the knowledge she gathered throughout her pregnancies. After approaching her last two pregnancies from a more holistic prespective and having two natural births, she was inspired to share her experiences with other moms-to-be.