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Depression During Pregnancy

Depression during pregnancy or antepartum depression is a mood disorder just like clinical depression.  Most women want to feel happy during their pregnancy.

They want to be glowing with happiness at the thought of having a baby. Many women who start feeling the symptoms of depression often feel guilty. Due to the body changes occurring during this period it’s normal to feel depressed.

Can Pregnancy Cause Depression?

Experts used to believe that pregnancy hormones were the leading cause of depression during pregnancy. Lately new studies have shown that the increasing estrogen and progesterone levels contribute to signs of depression. 

The hormones are increasingly so rapidly it disrupts the brain chemistry.  Depression can appear anytime during the first, second, and third trimester.

Is Depression Common During Pregnancy?

Prenatal Depression occurs to 10% to 15% of women it’s very common to postnatal depression (PPD).

What Are The Risk Factors For Depression While Pregnant?

  • PPD in prior pregnancy
  • History of depression in the family
  • History of depression in the family
  • Stressful jobs
  • Carrying twins
  • Conceiving at early age
  • Experiencing difficulty conceiving
  • Being a victim of domestic violence
  • Traumatic birth in a previous pregnancy
  • Unplanned pregnancy

What Are The Signs And Symptoms of Depression During Pregnancy?

  • Fatigue
  • Lethargy
  • Feeling sadness
  • Losing interest in activities
  • Feelings of anger
  • Crying for no reason
  • Thoughts of hurting yourself
  • Difficulty in concentrating

How To Prevent Depression In Pregnancy?

  • Avoid alcohol
  • Try to make yourself happy
  • Maintain a healthy diet
  • Have a regular sleep-wake routine
  • Get support from your family and friends
  • Do light exercises to reduce stress

Risk of Depression During Pregnancy

There are many risk factors for women suffering from depression. They are also more prone to postpartum depression and other risk include:

Does Depression During Pregnancy Affect The Baby?

Yes, depression during pregnancy can affect the baby in the following ways:

  • Difficulty concentrating while growing up
  • Suffering from depression
  • Developmental problems
  • Low birth weight

Diagnose Depression During Pregnancy

It you find yourself having three or more of the symptoms above for more than two weeks it might be a sign of having clinical depression.  It’s highly recommended you seek medical attention right away.

Depression During Pregnancy Treatment Recommendations


Psychotherapy is a general term for treating mental health problems by talking with a psychiatrist, psychologist or another mental health provider. During psychotherapy, you learn about your condition and your moods, feelings, thoughts and behaviors.

Antidepressant Medications

If you’re experiencing severe depression during pregnancy, your doctor may prescribe antidepressants.

  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or SSRIs.
  • Tricyclic antidepressants or TCAs.

Another common drug used to fight depression is Bupropion.

Alternative Treatments for dealing with depression during pregnancy

Acupuncture: is a form of alternative medicine and a key component of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) involving thin needles inserted into the body at acupuncture points.

Light Therapy: Bright light therapy can help treat symptoms of major depression.

Is It Safe To Use Antidepressants During Pregnancy?

Before taking any medication during pregnancy, it’s important to speak with your physician. Not all antidepressants are recommended for pregnant women. Certain drugs can increase the chances of miscarriage or stillbirth.

Depression During Pregnancy Incidence Statistics

Depression during pregnancy is quite common is anywhere from 14% to 23% experience the symptoms.

Depression ICD-9 and ICD-10 Codes

The ICD-9 codes used for indicating depression are 296.2, 296.3 while its ICD-10 codes are F32, F33.

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