Depression while pregnant and postpartum depression are more common than people think, and are nothing to be ashamed of. Women shouldn’t be embarrassed if they feel sad or depressed — it is perfectly normal. It is encouraged that mothers-to-be make appointments with their providers to discuss their feelings. At Garrison, we try to ensure that our patients never feel alone.
Depression During Pregnancy
Depression affects 15% to 25% of all women, and 10% to 15% of all pregnant women will experience depression. The highest number of women report during 2nd trimester (12.8%) with 3rd closely following.
- Irritability and mood swings
- Anxiety, including excessive anxiety about child’s health
- Inability to concentrate, or feeling “foggy”
- Sleep disturbance
- Extreme fatigue
- Loss of energy
- Lack of or increase in appetite
- Loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities
- Excessive guilt or self-doubt
Risk factors and influences include:
- Personal history of depression or anxiety
- Family history of depression or anxiety
- Relationships problems
- Complicated pregnancy
- Previous infertility or pregnancy loss
- Stressful life events—past and present
- History of abuse or neglect
- Lack of social supports
- Hormonal and chemical changes inherent in pregnancy
Postpartum Depression (PPD)
Many new mothers experience some mood swings or anxiety when they bring home a new baby. Your body is enduring a variety of physical and hormonal changes. Emotional factors related to caring for the baby, disrupted routines, and exhaustion contribute to feelings of being sad or overwhelmed.
This feeling may come and go for about four weeks postpartum and then typically disappear. Some women, however, may experience greater symptoms of depression that don’t go away. Women with postpartum depression (PPD) may feel sad, angry, or irritable. They may lack energy and motivation, have trouble sleeping, or have difficulty concentrating. If you’re experiencing any symptoms, it is very important that you make an appointment with your provider. Getting well is important for you and your baby.