Risk Factors for Depression During Pregnancy

Depression and anxiety can often go undiagnosed, as a woman is not always able to detect the signs and symptoms. There are some risk factors for depression during pregnancy, so don’t hesitate to tell your doctor that you are feeling down. During pregnancy, your emotional health is equally as important as your physical health. Depression during pregnancy can increase the risk of pre-term labor and, if left untreated, can hamper your ability to care for yourself and the baby as well.

Common Risk Factors

Here are a list of risks for depression in pregnancy:

  • Past or Family History of Depression:

    If you have suffered from depression in the past, then you are more likely to suffer from depression, especially now that you are expecting. If it runs in the family then there is a greater chance that you will suffer from it as well. It may also be brought on by stress.

  • Relationship Difficulties:

    If you have a troubled relationship and even talking is not working, then consult a counselor. Never assume that your baby will make everything rosy. A baby can add extra strain on the marital relationship, so get professional help immediately.

  • Fertility Treatments:

    If you had trouble getting pregnant, then you could still be under a lot of stress. If you have gone through many fertility procedures, then there could still be emotional side effects. This happens even months or years after treatment. Now that you have become pregnant, it is common to have feelings of fear of losing the baby that you worked so hard to conceive. This can also make you more likely to suffer from depression.

  • Previous Pregnancy Loss:

    If you have lost your baby or had a miscarriage in the past, then there is no doubt that you are worried about another possible miscarriage. Your main cause of concern is the safety of this pregnancy. If the loss of the child was recent, then you might not have had enough time to completely recover emotionally.

  • Problems with your pregnancy:

    If you have a high-risk or complicated pregnancy, it can take a toll emotionally. Women carrying multiples fall into this category. The fear of facing difficult procedures, along with fear for the unborn baby’s well being is very difficult to think about. You can talk to your health care provider about the steps to reduce the risk of suffering from depression. This will help you enjoy the wonderful stage of pregnancy.

  • Stressful Events:

    Sometimes depression can be brought on by stressful situations like struggling finances, relocation, or staying home after working for many years. These changes can include things like the death of the close friend, job loss, and a breakup as well. These can send pregnant women into depression.

  • Past History of Abuse:

    Women who have survived sexual, physical, emotional, or verbal abuse can suffer from very low self-esteem and a feeling of isolation and helplessness. All these feelings can contribute to depression in pregnancy. Pregnancy can increase the thoughts of all the painful memories of the past abuse.

Some other risk factors are:

  • Young mother
  • Single mother
  • Unplanned pregnancy

These are some other risk factors for depression during pregnancy. Consult your doctor, discuss all these risk factors, and try to prevent depression during pregnancy in order to have a healthy and happy pregnancy!

2 responses to Risk Factors for Depression During Pregnancy

  1. Good read , I'm going to spend more time reading about this topic

  2. This is an issue that is making lots of headlines today, especially as you mix anti-depressant drugs into the equation. My wife went through her first pregnancy fine, the second was a little tougher. The thought of taking anti-depressants never crossed her mind but we know people who did. Any of those SSRI drugs have dire consequences when taken during pregnancy.


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