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Depression During Pregnancy

Table of Contents


Who is at risk for depression during pregnancy?

If you had depression before you became pregnant, you're more likely to have it during your pregnancy. Or you may have it for the first time when you're pregnant. It may be more likely if you feel anxious about your pregnancy or if you've had problems with a pregnancy before.

No one should feel ashamed about depression. You aren't weak. And you don't have a character flaw. When you have depression, chemicals in your brain are out of balance. These chemicals are called neurotransmitters.

Managing depression is important for your own health. But it will also help you to have a healthy baby. You can treat depression with counseling, medicines, or both of these. Lifestyle changes may also help.

How do you know if you are depressed?

With all the changes in your life, you may not know if you are depressed. Pregnancy sometimes causes changes in how you feel that are similar to the symptoms of depression.

Symptoms of depression include:

Where to get help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week

If you or someone you know talks about suicide, self-harm, a mental health crisis, a substance use crisis, or any other kind of emotional distress, get help right away. You can:

Consider saving these numbers in your phone.

Go to for more information or to chat online.

How is depression during pregnancy treated?

You can also get regular exercise, healthy food, fresh air, and time with people who care about you. These are all important ways to prevent and treat depression and have a healthy pregnancy.

Credits for Depression During Pregnancy

Current as of: November 9, 2022

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
Patrice Burgess MD - Family Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Lisa S. Weinstock MD - Psychiatry

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