Depression And Anxiety In Pregnancy

Pregnancy is supposed to be a joyous time. But if you're spending more time worrying than celebrating your baby's impending arrival, you could be experiencing prenatal anxiety or depression.

Pregnant woman looking worried

Prenatal what?!

Yes, prenatal anxiety and depression are real. And a large number of women, 14 to 23 percent, according to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), suffer with some symptoms of depression during their pregnancy. American Pregnancy notes that "depression is not diagnosed properly during pregnancy because people think it is just another type of hormonal imbalance."

Signs of prenatal anxiety

  • Interrupted sleep or inability to fall and stay asleep
  • Tightness in the chest
  • Dizzy spells
  • Heart palpitations/pounding heart
  • Crying jags
  • Changes in mood
  • Sweaty palms
  • Trembling
  • Panic attacks
  • A sense of doom
  • Obsessive tendencies related to pregnancy or Baby, such as compulsively washing Baby's clothes (before he's born)

Signs of prenatal depression

The American Pregnancy Association lists the following as possible symptoms of pregnancy depression:

  • Persistent sadness
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Sleeping too little or too much
  • Loss of interest in activities that you usually enjoy
  • Recurring thoughts of death, suicide, or hopelessness
  • Anxiety
  • Feelings of guilt or worthlessness
  • Change in eating habits

Seek treatment

If you're experiencing any of these symptoms and you just can't seem to shake them, confide in a loved one and seek treatment from your ob-gyn, who can either refer you to a therapist skilled in this area or prescribe a medication to ease your symptoms without harming you or Baby in the process. Don't be ashamed of your symptoms and don't try to suffer through the symptoms alone.

More on unexpected pregnancy symptoms

Bizarre pregnancy symptoms
Warning signs: Pregnancy symptoms you can't ignore
Five Embarrassing pregnancy symptoms

Photo credit: ONOKY/Eric Herchaft/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images

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