Depression During Pregnancy: My Experience
This post is not intended to diagnose or treat any symptoms. If you feel this is something you are dealing with, it’s very important that you talk to your doctor or midwife about it as soon as possible.
Typically when women find out they are pregnant, there is excitement and anticipation for their upcoming bundle of joy.
But what happens when those feelings of excitement are masked by feelings of overwhelmedness, anxiety and depression?
I found myself in that situation recently when my husband and I learned we were expecting our third child. I suspected I was pregnant fairly early – at about 4 weeks. Not too long after that, I started noticing that I was far more impatient and irritable than usual and that I just didn’t feel like my usual self. These feelings seemed above and beyond the typical changes that happen during pregnancy.
I didn’t feel like doing things that I usually really enjoy. Writing and blogging, for example, became suddenly very difficult and more of a chore than a hobby.
I found myself withdrawing from my friends and even my husband. I realized that I preferred to be alone most of the time which is pretty atypical for me. And I felt so anxious! Anxious about the baby’s development, anxious about the delivery, anxious about the months following the delivery. You name it and I probably worried and fretted about it
The worst came when I realized, upon waking in the mornings, that I was discouraged before even getting out of bed. I dreaded that I had to face another day of morning sickness and sad, anxious feelings. Day after day I wanted to pull the covers up over my head and sleep – sleep until this whole mess was over and I could be “normal” once again. That’s when I knew that I needed help.
Having these anxious and depressed feelings doesn’t mean that I don’t want my baby. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. I am excited about holding my sweet little one, seeing what he or she will look like and getting to know that new little personality.
But, discouragingly, I find it difficult to enjoy those joyful feelings with all the other negative thoughts swirling around in my head. And all of that in addition to the typical discomforts of early pregnancy. I find myself being discouraged that I can’t just be happy, and that creates a cycle of guilt and negative feelings which is difficult to defeat.
I also realized that I had to overcome the stigma of depression, especially in my own mind. Even though it is more widely known and understood than ever before, I still struggle with these feelings because I feel like it is a weakness that I should be able to easily “fix”.
Even now, I feel embarrassed and ashamed to admit, even to myself, that I’m having these feelings and emotions. I don’t want to be depressed, but the more I tried to ignore it, the more depressed I became.
Depression during pregnancy?
Most people are familiar with post-partum depression, which is a type of depression which affects new mothers in the year following the birth of their baby. Doctors and midwives take great care in asking their patients, who have recently delivered, whether they are noticing any symptoms of post-partum depression brought on by the sudden change in hormones after delivering.
Depression during pregnancy, called antenatal depression, is much less well known. In fact, I’m not sure I even knew there was such a thing until it happened to me.
Now as I look back, I can see signs of some depression and anxiety during each of my pregnancies. I also struggled with post-partum depression but didn’t realize that until after the birth of my second child. My symptoms and the effect of the depression seem to be getting worse with each pregnancy, perhaps because it went unnoticed and untreated for so long.
- Image by ::coco Rina::
Symptoms of antenatal depression:
In addition to the normal effects of pregnancy such as fatigue and needing to sleep more, you may be suffering from depression if you have some of these symptoms as well:
- Persistent feelings of sadness
- Lack of interest in hobbies and other favorite activities
- Difficulty concentrating and making decisions
- Persistent feelings of anxiety and anxious thoughts
- More irritable and impatient than usual
- Anxiety about the pregnancy and delivery
- A sense that nothing seems enjoyable or fun anymore, including the pregnancy
- Thoughts of death or suicide
What causes antenatal depression?
Similar to post-partum depression, antenatal depression is thought to be triggered by sudden and intense hormonal changes.
Other factors that might contribute to antenatal depression are: a personal or family history of depression, relationship difficulties, stressful life events and problems or complications with your pregnancy. However, there is still much that is unknown and needs to be researched in this area.
- Image by dizznbonn
Treatment for antenatal depression
Whatever the cause, the important part to focus on is the treatment of antenatal depression. Even while pregnant there is much that can be done, with the help of qualified doctors and midwives, to ease the symptoms and have you feeling back to your normal self again… well, your normal pregnant self. 🙂
Simply knowing what you are dealing with is often half the battle.
Once I finally acknowledged that something was wrong and I talked to my doctor, I felt better. I knew what I was up against, I had a treatment plan and so I felt better, if only because I felt that I was being proactive. Wallowing in depression will only drag you further down. But facing and fighting it head on will help you to keep moving, even on the most difficult days.
Establish a strong support system.
With the help of my husband, my mom, my sisters and some close friends, I have a strong support system of people I can call upon when I’m feeling low. Talking through my thoughts and feelings always helps and often it’s just nice to talk about something other than the difficulties and depression. Surround yourself with people who love you, support you and those you can make you laugh. Laughter is very good medicine!
Try therapy or counseling.
Since I recognized these feelings somewhat from my earlier pregnancies and post-partum experiences, I knew they were severe enough this time that I needed some help. I found an excellent counselor who practices not far from my house. The first time I went to visit with her, I was nervous. What if I didn’t like her? What if she didn’t like me? What if she told me I was making all this up?
Of course I had nothing to worry about and I left her office that first day feeling 10 pounds lighter. I’ve found it nice to have a professional opinion about all those negative thoughts swirling in my mind and she has some excellent suggestions for me on how to deal with those thoughts. I feel that I’m building up a tool belt of ideas that I can use to address the anxious and depressed feelings I find myself having.
If worse comes to worse, there’s medication that can help.
Honestly, I really struggled with this decision and it weighed heavily on my mind for some time. My doctor felt that my depression was severe enough to benefit from the help of some anti-depressants. But during my previous pregnancies, I rarely even took so much as Tylenol so I felt really guilty for considering anti-depressant medication.
After much prayer and discussion with my husband, we decided that the benefits outweighed the risks. For one thing, stress hormones are not good for you or for your baby and I was certainly generating more than my share of those. In addition, I did not feel I was being a good mother to my other children in my depressed and anxious state.
For these reasons we decided it was best for me to take the anti-depressant medication and my doctor recommended one that has been proven safe to use during pregnancy. It’s a very personal decision that must be made with the help of qualified doctors or midwives and also with much thought and prayer. What’s right for one isn’t right for all but it’s nice to know that there are options should the depression and anxiety be severe enough to warrant it.
Some Additional Thoughts
- Don’t be ashamed if you are suffering from depression. Unfortunately, depression itself can often cause you to feel that you are weak or that you should be able to control your feelings better. This may result in comparing yourself to those who do not suffer depression and assume that they are doing it right while you are doing it wrong. These things are false. Depression is real and it is not your fault. The first step to feeling better is not being ashamed to do something about it.
- Don’t be afraid of therapy. Unfortunately there is also a stigma in our culture surrounding therapists. But I can tell you from experience that they can bring a huge sense of relief and help both to give you the tools to help you deal with depression as well as help you to realize that your problems are normal so that you can stop blaming yourself. Do a little homework to find a therapist that will be able to help you in a way with which you’re comfortable and then get help!
- Don’t blame yourself. As I mentioned earlier, it is common to have feelings like “this is all my fault”, or “Other people can handle this situation, what’s wrong with me?”. Toss these feelings out. One of the things I’ve learned from my therapist is that, just because I feel a certain way doesn’t mean that it’s reality. If you give yourself a break and stop beating yourself up, you will find a hidden reservoir of time and energy and peace.
I’m now over 11 weeks pregnant and the weeks leading up to this point have definitely been a roller coaster. I do wish that I could have a glowing, happy, anxiety-free pregnancy. But for one reason or another, it’s just not that way for me.
I’m learning that it’s best for me to look forward and remind myself that although these times are difficult, they won’t last forever.
Have you been depressed while you were pregnant? What are some things that helped you to cope during that difficult period?
Stephanie’s note: I am so glad that Stacey has written this post and I definitely encouraged her to share what I think is a very important, and yet very vulnerable, topic. As always, I’m leaving the comments open for anyone, but I just wanted to ask that as this is a more sensitive topic to many, please be gentle and thoughtful in how you word your comments. Thanks so much!
I appreciate this so much. Your honest is going to be a blessing to many mamas out there struggling with similar thoughts, guilt, etc. I wish I’d had this to read when I had my first child. My struggle was with post-partum depression. I was so afraid to admit I needed medicine to help me that I put my family through a really rough time. It wasn’t until after my 2nd child was born that I sought out serious help. And after my THIRD child that I gave in and began to take medication. My fourth child is now 2 months old and I took medication through the pregnancy and am continuing on it now. I know I’m a better mom this time around because I was willing to swallow my pride, give up the guilt and accept that for whatever reason, this is something I struggle with. Thank you again… this is the best article I’ve ever read about depression. 🙂
@Michelle, thank you so much michelle! i’ve been afraid almost to check the comments … i figured i wasn’t alone but it’s nice to know that i’m not. for me a big part was swallowing my pride too. thanks again for your comment and i’m so happy to hear that things are better. 🙂
Glad you wrote about this. I am about 9 weeks with #4 and find myself having more “bad” days than good days. I struggled with mild depression after #3 and was also surprised to see these feelings crop up when I became pregnant. I find that exercise helps and getting out of the house no matter what. Although that can be very difficult with 3 little ones (ages 4 and under).
I definitely experienced depression during pregnancy & my husband asked me to ask the OB about it. They said when u have antenatal depression, u are much more likely to experience postpartum depression. I refused to take antidepressants because I was too concerned about what that might be doing internally to my baby boy – not judging, just saying what I decided. Anyway, my alternative treatment was cod liver oil, cutting sugar out of my diet (not entirely, but some) & EXERCISE. In fact, I was praying about my depression &GOD reminded me to exercise. There is scientifc research showing exercise is just as effective as antidepressants. I walked with resistance on elliptical, but you could walk uphill some & some flat (the hills create resistance which increases workout and odds that you’ll get those much needed endorphins. Now that I have had my bouncing baby boy, the nursing is also giving me a shot of endorphins throughout the day. No postpartum depression. I’m continuing cod liver oil, trying to go easy on sugar & still exercising
@jen, the sugar part is very interesting to me jen. i’ve been (mostly) sugar-free for almost 3 years now because of they way it affects my moods. it doesn’t make me depressed but definitely very moody.
i know i need to exercise more but someday’s it’s like pulling teeth to get me outside and exercising. thankfully i have good friends who are sympathetic but still push me along. as i head into the 2nd trimester and start feeling better in that way, i need to focus more on exercising. thanks for the reminder!
Thanks for sharing your struggles. I hope to be more aware of this go forward instead of assuming everything is glowing when one becomes pregnant.
@Emily @Random Recycling, i hope you are glowing when you’re pregnant emily, but in case you’re not, that’s ok too! 🙂
Thank you so much for sharing this! I’m pregnant with our first, and it’s so good to know that there are others who struggle with depression in the months before the birth.
Thanks for sharing this. My hormones and feelings have been very different since my last child. My husband is very good at listening to me when I am feeling out of the ordinary. This is a great article for everyone to know they are not the only ones having these feelings.
Good article. I struggled with antenatal depression with my 3 pregnancies…each time worse than before.
I felt like wailing all the time and had extreme anxiety about giving birth with our third! I’d tell myself that I have two human beings walking on this earth. 🙂 But it wasn’t so much about my thoughts as much as it was about my hormones. I knew what I was experiencing so I did NOT feel guilty for feeling so very low.
I finally did try an anti-depressant….the lowest adult dose. I was in the emergency room with a serotonin response….very scary. Since meds could not work, I HAD to deal with it. The women in our church prayed for me faithfully; the Lord responded. I made it to the end! Our sweet babe is 7months old.
My only regret is that the depression was getting so bad, I don’t think I could handle another pregnancy…..though babies bring me so much joy. I have to content myself with 3….all girls!
Thanks for writing.
@Shelah, thanks for sharing your experience shelah! we may be done with 3 too but we’ll need to pray about that to be certain. similar to you, it helps me to remind myself that it’s not me, it’s my hormones. i might get a little blue from time to time when i’m not pregnant but nothing major and certainly nothing in need of medication. but when i’m pregnant (or on birth control) that’s when i need more help. thanks for your comment!
Thank you for writing about this. I’m pregnant with my 4th (due Christmas Eve!) and for the first time, suffered through depression this pregnancy. It lasted several months, but I’m very happy to say it’s gone 🙂 Thank you for spreading the word and shedding some light on this topic, because you’re right, so many people don’t want to admit it, talk about it, and are ashamed about it.
@Erin, congratulations erin! glad to hear that the worst is over. i wish there weren’t such a stigma about depression… it’s very difficult to overcome. i feel like i’m more sympathetic to other women dealing with it than i am to myself. i wish you the best for your delivery and recovery. 🙂
I didn’t even realize that depression during pregnancy had an actual name or was considered a medical condition. The fear of a second miscarriage has almost completely clouded my enjoyment if my current pregnancy. When I was pregnant with my daughter (my first pregnancy) I loved it. I simply floated through without worries, simply assuming everything would be great. But when I lost a baby at 8 weeks (after an ultrasound that showed a healthy heartbeat) something in me changed. Even as I approach 15 weeks with this pregnancy I can’t shake a feeling of sadness and foreboding. I was beginning to think I was the only one.
@Laundry Lady, i’m so sorry to hear about your miscarriage. that would be very difficult and it’s understandable why it affects your current pregnancy. it’s as if you don’t want to let yourself enjoy it because you’re afraid it might suddenly be over too. if i could offer advice, it would be to talk to someone about your experience and your feelings. your spouse, clergy, a therapist, best friend, anyone that can help you come to terms with those feelings. you are definitely not alone.
Thank you so much for sharing! What a blessing! It is so important for us to realize the part that hormonal changes play in depression and anxiety. A few years back I suddenly developed Poly Cystic Ovary Syndrome. I went from having normal cycles to suddenly having every symptom in the book of PCOS. Along with this came an overwhelming sense of anxiety. When the Docs did not immediately suspect PCOS, my anxiety developed into depression. The sudden change in hormones had created physiological imbalances that needed to be addressed. Now I am on a very low level antidepressant, have received some great counseling on dealing with the anxiety, and am actively treating the PCOS.
@Teresa S., so glad to hear that you are on the right track! i told one of my doctors at one point in my post-partum struggles that i thought my anxiety led to eventual depression and he looked at me like i had three eyes. but now i have a doctor that confirms that being anxious for a long period of time can lead to depression. 🙂
What a great post. I struggle with postpartum blues right now. With both my kids, it hit at 6mths. When people don’t expect it. I find it hard to talk about, so I end up feeling lonely. I’m forcing myself to get out of the house, cut back on unnecessary things, and simplifying life in general. It’s helping! Actually realizing this was the reason I was crying every day certainly was half the battle!! I still cry, but not every day. 🙂 One day at the time.
@AnneJisca, i have a friend that gets blue about the 6 month post-partum mark too! isn’t it interesting how the hormones affect us all differently?!
Thanks for posting this. Ive never been pregnant, but i do take a small amount of medication that helps my depression. I have PMDD, so I understand the depression part of this. You articulated everything so accurately, and I appreciate it. There are still alot of societal stigmas that come with admitting you have some kind of depression, and I applaud your honesty. It makes the ret of us encouraged, and your suggestions and facts were spot on 🙂
@Amanda, thank you amanda!!
laundry lady, i have had several miscarriages & so i actually had that terrible dread of loss hanging over my head almost my entire pregnancy. I also had the OB tell me that I had a very high risk of having a down syndrome baby because of my DNA & age of pregnancy (34). I decided to do the best I could for myself & my baby by exercising (elliptical about 4 times a week for 30 minutes or whatever I felt I could handle without straining myself, just getting my heart rate up, blood pumping good), vitamins, cod liver oil, cut back on sugar (because I had found that sugar has a SIGNIFICANT effect on my mood & not in a good way either), anyway, all that & then when I would worry, I would give the worry to GOD in prayer. I carried my baby boy to full term, delivered him & he is sleeping beside me right now for his naptime. 🙂 I Peter 5:7 “cast all your cares on HIM for HE cares for you”
This post is so timely for me. I am 7 weeks pregnant, and so depressed, mostly because I am dealing with severe morning sickness that has made it difficult for me to do any daily duty, as well as properly take care of my other two small children. I was on anti-depressants for my last pregnancy, but want to avoid it this time because my last child was born with some health issues….which probably have nothing to do with the medication I was taking, but I can’t help but wonder. I am confident once the morning sickness gets a little better I will feel less depressed, but when you are only 7 weeks, it feels like 13 weeks,or even beyond, as it has been for me in previous pregnancies, will never get here.
Thanks for reminding me I am not alone.
@Amanda, thank you for sharing amanda. our experiences seem very similar. i wish you the very best. 🙂
I know this post is very old but I too am at 7 weeks and find it very daunting that I have another 5-6 weeks before I will begin to feel better. Posts like yours remind me that I’m not alone and this too shall pass.
I wish that I could in person give you a huge hug! Thank you so much for sharing so honestly.
My most recent pregnancy was hard for a number of reasons, in large part because this was the first time that I would be having a baby since my Mom died. It’s still hard some days, looking at my five-month-old son and knowing that his grandmother will never hold him.
I’m praying that you will be feeling better. It’s always good to get the help that you need.
@Teish, thank you teish! you are so sweet. i’m so sorry to hear about your mom. i wish i could give you a hug too!
Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!! I love that more and more people are sharing their experiences with depression and helping people know they are NOT alone!
I had post-partum depression after the birth of my second son and was on and off medication for the next 6 years. Only last week, as I was reflecting on it, did I realize that I may have had some of those symptoms while pregnant.
While it may have been just the normal pregnancy hormones raging through my body, it may have been the onset of depression. I honestly think that either way, the raging hormones from the pregnancy are what triggered the full-on post-partum depression.
The thing for anyone with any emotional changes to remember is that help is available. Talk to someone, anyone. You do NOT have to go it alone. Your doctor is there to take care of you. And he/she doesn’t, then you need a new doctor!
I definitely had antenatal depression and dragged through my pregnancy. I was unexpectedly pregnant with our first child, recently married, none of our friends had kids and I wasn’t ready to give up my travel filled, fun, adventurous lifestyle for kids. But as soon as that little peanut was born, everything transformed and I was filled with an incredible amount of love for that baby girl. 5 years and 2 kids later, I’ve never had those feelings again for which I am so grateful.
I hesitate to even comment for fear that my insights may come across as judgmental. I know how nasty people can get behind their computer keyboards. I pray that no one takes my comment that way because that is not how it is intended. I am a long-time reader of Keeper of the Home and have the utmost respect for the author and contributing authors. While I appreciate the honesty of this post and all that Stacey went through and is going through, I did have a negative reaction to it when medication was brought in as an option to treat pre-natal depression. Please don’t attack me for posting this opinion, because I am pregnant as well and that would not be very kind or beneficial to anyone. Let me give a little background first: I am a holistic health coach, and real food blog author. I have also been using natural medicine with myself and family for the last 8 years and am trained in herbal and homeopathic medicine. I am on my 7th pregnancy. I have 3 children and had 3 miscarriages so this will be my 4th baby. I had depression and anxiety in the beginning of each pregnancy that lasted about 14 weeks. This is normal for the first trimester and even into the second sometimes because of hormonal changes. Some moms’ hormones stay unbalanced all throughout and after pregnancy as well. Before getting pregnant with this baby(and even prior to that) I suffered from severe PMS. Some would even call it Premenstrual dysphoric disorder. I never took any medication because I was able to control it naturally through food an herbal infusions. I worked with a Naturopath and and Herbalist to find the right combo of herbs and supplements that would alleviate the symptoms. It took awhile but it did work. Flower essences worked very well also.
The blog post states that the medication taken was proven safe for pregnant women. The phrase “proven safe” can never be said in conjunction with pregnant women because it’s illegal to test medication on a pregnant woman. About 7 years ago I was in a mom’s group where one mom went on Paxil and recommended it to the whole group. Within weeks, over half of the moms had gone to see their doctors and had prescriptions for Paxil. Some of the were pregnant. It has now come out that Paxil, along with an entire list of well-know antidepressants have been linked to birth defects and even death in babies whose mothers used the drug while pregnant. I know of a family personally whose baby died after birth due to the mother using this drug while pregnant. The makers of Paxil had to settle with them out of court but that won’t bring back their little girl. Just because a doctor says an anti-depressant is safe does not mean that it is. Just about everything, if not everything a mother ingests goes through the blood-brain barrier of her baby and can affect the growing brain. My fear after reading some of the previous comments is that many moms have just got the push they wanted to go to their doctor and get on meds instead of looking into other options. You don’t have to deal with it on your own but there are other ways besides meds. Not that Stacey is promoting that as the only option but that seems to be where people gravitate to.
During pregnancy, another option besides medication would be consulting with an herbalist and midwife about safe herbal options that have been used without incident for thousands of years. I drink a quart of a pregnancy tea blend infusion daily that not only nourishes me and my baby but also helps my emotional well-being. It has worked wonders for me AND for everyone else with the same convictions as myself who have decided to go the natural medicine route. It is definitely worth looking into and trying before jumping into the unknown of pharmaceuticals while pregnant.
My hope for this comment again is not to judge or criticize but to present another option that was not covered in the original post. Much love to Stacey and prayers for a healthy pregnancy. God Bless!
@Sarah, Thanks for your well-thought out and carefully written comment. I totally appreciate your concerns. I myself do not know the specifics of taking any particular anti-depressant during pregnancy, although I do think that it is a decision not to be taken lightly. That said, this was Stacey’s experience and her journey, and although I would like to make some other recommendations, I didn’t want to interfere with the post for several reasons.
I have dealt with depression myself, but never in a pregnancy. I have written a post on treating depression naturally (https://keeperofthehome.org/2011/01/treating-depression-naturally-supplements-herbs-and-foods-for-feeling-better.html). I contemplated mentioning this post or linking to it, but hesitated due to the fact that I truly don’t know if many of the recommendations I made (while generally very safe for a woman who is not pregnant) would be considered safe in pregnancy. And as with medication, alternative treatments can also cause harm when they are not the right ones for the situation.
I would love to see women reaching out to find non-medication alternatives, although I have no judgment at all for those who don’t. I think that as with any time we chose medication, it’s always wise to consider what more natural and gentle methods we can try first, and use medication as more of a last resort. I think that it is so wise to find a midwife or naturopath who is skilled in working with these challenges and more knowledgable on the safety and risks of various options.
Anyways, an important aspect of an important topic! Thanks, Sarah!
@Sarah, i do appreciate your comment, sarah (and your considerate way of doing so) and it gives me an opportunity to explain a bit more.
i too try to live as naturally as possible with a real food diet (among other things) and so i truly struggled and wrestled with the decision to take anti-depressants during my pregnancy. i too fear that every little health problem we have as a society is masked by this pill or that pill that then causes a host of other side effects and concerns. and in writing this post, i considered whether to even include that i’m taking anti-depressants because i wouldn’t want anyone just to do it because i said i felt ok with it. i also struggled with whether to include it or not because Stephanie promotes natural, healthy living and taking anti-depressants isn’t considered natural or healthy, whether pregnant or not.
i ultimately decided to include that experience with anti-depressants in the post because i felt and hoped that other women would be able to relate. i found myself at the point of not being able to care for my other children because i was so severely depressed. while i didn’t want to take anti-depressants, after much prayer and thought, my husband and i decided that the risk of the medication was less than the risk of me being incapacitated for the remainder of the pregnancy. i felt that that situation might be one that other women have found themselves in too and so i decided to share it. i tried to relate that accurately in the post.
and just to give you a bit more understanding of my decision i would like to share a few other factors that weighed into my decision. at first i had these in the post too but it made the post way too long and i didn’t want to lose people halfway through. perhaps that’s something that needs to be addressed though, just as a means of explanation so others will know that i truly exhausted all other possibilities before taking the medication.
#1. when i first started recognizing those symptoms, i hoped to treat my depression with diet and therapy. i bought an excellent book (Rebuild from Depression by Amanda Rose) and learned a lot from that. unfortunately morning sickness set it not long after that and so eating meat and cultured vegetables and many other “depression busters” was absolutely out of the question. in fact, i’ve been so sick that eating anything has been a chore and so eating now is merely for survival, whether healthy or not. as i move in to my second trimester, i hope to incorporate those foods into my diet again along with pastured eggs, cod liver oil and other healthy foods that will be good for me and for the baby. i love real food. but i also feel that it is the ideal and sometimes life falls way below the ideal. sometimes you have to merely get by until things get better.
#2. we recently moved to a very rural area with no health food store, no naturopath, no herbalist, there’s not even a midwife in town. i felt uncomfortable treating myself with herbal and homeopathic medication because of uncertainly about whether it was safe during pregnancy or not. had i felt like myself, i could have done internet research, etc. but there again, i knew that i needed to do what i could as quickly as possible so i could continue to be somewhat of a mother to my young children.
#3. the medication that my doctor suggested has been proven to have “no established risks during pregnancy.” they didn’t have pregnant women as case studies, of course, but in testing the babies and children born to women taking this medication during pregnancy, they have found them to not have any health effects because of the medication. that was how my doctor explained it to me. he said that this medication has been used safely and can be considered a good option during pregnancy. and by option, i took that to mean exhaust all other efforts first. which i feel that we did.
#4. as i’ve said, this was a difficult decision for my husband and i to make. of course we would never want to cause our unborn child harm because of taking a medication. i don’t think anybody would want that to happen. but sometimes there are factors that are out of our control. and that is how we felt in this situation. we tried several different things but to no avail and so we took the matter to prayer. we prayed and pondered this decision and felt like it was the right thing for us to do, as this time, given the situation and circumstances we were in.
i would never want anybody to take anti-depressants during pregnancy uninformed and unaware because many anti-depressants do pose a very serious threat to the unborn baby. but in my situation, i feel that my husband and i were informed, we tried other solutions first, but ultimately we had to do what was the best for us and for our family. we felt supported in that decision through prayer.
thank you for your comment and i hope that i’ve helped you to understand a bit more why i included the use of anti-depressants in the post.
@stacey, Great response Stacey. I love how you and your husband have worked together to make a wise decision about what is best for your family and that you have sought out different options and chosen one that is working best for you. Thank you for also being brave enough to say that you did need medication and that it was the right choice for you and your family.
Thank you so much for sharing. I am 18 weeks along and had a horrible first trimester full of exactly those depression feelings. It’s so nice to hear that I’m not alone and that it is real. I have a good doctor now and a good therapist (and an excellent husband who set up the appointments for me cause all I could do was cry!) It’s a hard thing to talk about especially when no one around seems to have had similar experiences. So thank you again for being so willing to share.
Thanks, such a timely post for me! I’m 8 weeks and have been very depressed. With my first 2 I had severe anxiety, but I’ve never been depressed like this. I do have a great support system and wonderful husband. It is nice to know that it’s not “me” and I’m not losing my mind!
I am not pregnant and I suffer from depression. While I feel it is better at this point in my life I worry about being pregnant in the future and struggling. I am happy to hear that there is a pregnancy safe anti depressant as I really don’t feel it would be a wise choice to not take them during pregnancy. Thank you for being so brave and sharing this. It’s not easy to admit things like this because of our ridiculous culture. I admire your strength. You’ve helped a lot of pregnant and non pregnant women today!
@Dani, thank you dani!! just be sure that you are educated and informed about anti-depressant use during pregnancy. my doctor recommended one that has shown to have no risks during pregnancy but that doesn’t mean that all anti-depressants fit that bill. 🙂
Hi Stacey- These posts were quite a while ago but I had severe depression during my pregnancy and I suffer in general and am on medication, specifically Lexapro. I want to get pregnant again but I have heard Lexapro is pretty risky. What medication did your doctor recommend to you? Greatly appreciate it! 🙂
I find myself having anxiety and depression pop up in the 1st and 3rd trimester….and sometimes after the baby is born! It is such a time of change for our bodies and our minds. In my previous pregnancies I have taken the smallest dose of anti-depressants they give and it has made a world of difference for me. My midwife also prescribed a morning walk every day. Lots of hugs and love to you as you make your adjustments. You are doing God’s work and he will bless you for it.
Thank you so much for sharing this and being so transparent. My youngest child is 31. I became pregnant with her shortly after a separation from my husband. I knew this would be my last pregnancy and wanted to enjoy it. I was happy to have another child but my relationship with my husband was more than lacking. We are now divorced. I was isolated from family and friends in a different city. I had no support system. I had an energetic toddler. We had severe financial problems. I was ill throughout the whole pregnancy. Spent most time in bed or on the couch due to nausea and I was trying to work as well. I believe that if I had been able to get counseling to help deal with the relationship problems as well as the isolation it would have had an overall positive effect. This is all from the perspective of looking back, I did not realize these things at the time. If I had had these resources and someone had been open and honest about their situation back then it would have been such a blessing to me just knowing I wasn’t alone. Thank you again for sharing. Have a healthy and blessed pregnancy. God bless you and your child!
When pregnant with my second child I too had these symptoms. I didn’t think much about them because I was going through a divorce and thought that was the problem. (I didn’t have any symptoms of depression with my first child.) However, when I was pregnant with my third baby (a baby that was VERY much wanted and tried for!) I was unprepared when the depression came back full force ! I couldn’t explain it to anybody – even my husband – but I could FEEL it in my chest! I would wake up DREADING the day and HATING being pregnant! Don’t get me wrong, I loved my baby but not pregnancy! I was horrible to my husband! Yelling, angry, etc, etc! I don’t know how he put up with me! Ironically,ALL the symptoms went away the MINUTE I gave birth! I didn’t struggle with some post- partum issues but I never felt the ANGER that I did during pregnancy. I am now SCARED TO DEATH of getting pregnant again since I have had such a difficult time. Thanks for opening up and letting others know that depression can happen during pregnancy!
I just wish I would have read this five months ago when I felt I was the only pregnant mama feeling so depressed., I journaled, cried, picked fights with my family etc, but mostly felt confused by my mood! I googled the subject and found most feedback touched on postnatal depression,. one visit to the midwife I started sobbing in the office and they suggested I up my dose of omega and that was that! Anyway its articles like these that should remind us women to speak up speak out , we are our best educators and supporters! God Bless!
This is great that you posted about this. Until the past few years I didn’t know that its now a recognized issue to have depression during pregnancy. As you said most of the info is on post partum. In my area (which is suprising considering its a small rural area) there is actually a lot of effort that has been put into helping mothers with what they call “mood disorders of pregnancy and post partum”. I’ve seen phamplets and information on community boards etc. (its run through the health unit). They offer counselling and support etc. to pregnanct AND postpartum moms.
I am pregnant just a little bit ahead of you. I have had a few days this pregnancy that I wondered if I was beginning depression but thankfully so far its only lasted a day and then was gone. But in the past I know I was depressed during pregnancy (this is my 4th pregnancy, but one was a miscarriage). Also, something I did not know and was not told or warned about, is that women can experience depression in great amounts due to miscarriage. I wish they had have warned me. I knew there would be grief of course, but what I experienced was much beyond that and definately hormonally based as well.
I am scared about going through depression again either during pregnancy or post partum but hopefully I won’t have to. I am planning on doing placenta encapsulation this time around. I hope that helps me. I do think its gross…but I am motivated by the fact that it really might help. In that case I can put up with the grossness to have the benefits!
One thing that really helps me cope with depression is to simplify my life. Not take on so much, say no, don’t go to things etc. really helps me. But its individual. Some people find if they force themselves to do things, they feel better. I do not. Experiment a little and find what works for you.
Thanks for being brave enough to share. I’ve struggled with depression on and off since I was a teenager, and it was never worse than when I was pregnant. I had tried for years to conceive, and I felt like a terrible person because I couldn’t just enjoy the little life I was finally carrying. I got the help I needed, because my husband took his concerns directly to my OB when I just wouldn’t admit how depressed I was, and the rest of the pregnancy after I started treatment was far and away better than before. I was never a happy, glowing pregnant lady, but I was able to enjoy all the marvelous blessings God was giving me.
Reading this post, I felt like you were describing exactly what I went through the beginning of my current pregnancy. I am 16 weeks today and I feel like my old self again. It was probably up until week 10 or 11 that my depression started to abate along with morning sickness and the fatigue. There were days I would just lay on the couch and cry because I felt so miserable. I felt like a horrible mom because I had an 18 month old to care for and it was so hard just to feed her and take care of her basic needs. I didn’t want to talk to anyone. I never returned phone calls, I dreaded weekends when there would be picnics and family events. I felt I had to put on a happy face when I felt like I just wanted to die. Well not die but just fall asleep until the first 12 weeks were over. I imagined myself crawling into a dark hole and just staying there and that was all I wanted. Even though I feel excited about life again, I think that I have days I am still really emotional but not to the point that I wanted to shut out everything and shut down. I have found it a help to just blame it on my hormones and not take it too personally. I know I am a sane person and once my hormones straighten out I’ll be back to my old self. As for being excited about this pregnancy, I can’t say that has happened yet. I was really not ready to be pregnant again and I was really enjoying life with just one child. I am fearful of how my life will change with two. I’m thinking it will be quite an adjustment but I know I will love this baby so very much when I meet him or her. I am just hoping I adapt as well as I did to my first child. Whatever lies ahead of me, I am thankful for this child and I pray that God will see me through this.
I have found that taking b-12 during pregnancy and after helps greatly with depression. I have passed this on to numerous friends that found that this helped. Basically, I took a b-12 tablet every time that I cried or got emotional for no real reason. If that was 15 in a day, so be it. Soon, you will find that you don’t need to be taking as many or any at all. Thank you for sharing your story. I pray that it encourages others to get the help that they may need.
Thank you for your honesty. I appreciate your site. while you encourage people to do things naturally, you understand realities. You never make me feel like we’re all going to die if we take a Tylenol. I truly, truly appreciate that!
That said, I am pregnant with number 7. During the first trimester, my firstborn was hospitalized and we were living away from home in the Ronald McDonald house. She has since been diagnosed with a lifelong genetic auto-immune disease. Naturally, this has been stressful, and I can’t help thinking I’m bringing another potential disease victim into the world.
I realized that over the past four weeks, I have been extremely unmotivated and sleeping excessively. I’m in a funk that I can’t shake. Sometimes, I can’t figure out if I’m laughing or crying! I understand what you are going through. You are in my prayers.
Please know that you are a blessing to many, and will certainly be a blessing to this new life. God’s peace!
Thank you for such an important post. The more people talk about depression during pregnancy, the more women will seek help.
I suffered severe depression during my last pregnancy, along with preterm labor which had me on modified bedrest for 3 months. My husband had to take medical leave from work to care for me and our children. I was so torn on the decision on whether or not to take medication. I really needed it, but couldn’t bring myself to make the decision. I suffered a long time and now looking back I sometimes wish that I had done more to help myself for the sake of my older children. My depression really affected them.
I did benefit from counseling with couselor who specialized in working with antenatal/postnatal depression. I highly recommend seeking counseling for anyone dealing with depression.
Thank you for sharing something so important, yet often unmentioned. I too have found myself in a similar situation now pregnant with my third child. I only wish I’d have spoken up and come to these terms earlier (I am close to my 3rd tri). Most likely my last pregnancy, I was really hoping to enjoy it and make the most of it..
My midwife has recommended Vitamin B supplements in addition to making sure I am taking in adequate protein.
Thank you for sharing Stacey. I often feel depressed and think that things seem so easy for others. Like everyone else has their life in order and mine is total chaos. You saying “it is common to have feelings like “this is all my fault”, or “Other people can handle this situation, what’s wrong with me?” makes me feel better just knowing that I’m not going through this alone. I try to remember Christ’s promises and that He tells me not to worry and I’m so thankful that He has blessed me with knowing Him but sometimes I still get sad. This advice you gave is very comforting to me “If you give yourself a break and stop beating yourself up, you will find a hidden reservoir of time and energy and peace.” Thanks again!
Depression, tension, and all and all emotional issues are a huge part of my life. I have been on anti depressants my last 2 pregnancies. I currently am reading a book called The Mood Cure by Julia Ross. I am trying to get off my meds and switch to herbs and amino acids. I have had some success and reduced my meds from 200 mg to 50. I also have made some major changes in my diet. Lots of protien and veggies. I am also trying to cut out caffine ( i go up and down ont his a lot). My heart goes out to you mama, dealing with moods isso hard. We are also planning on letting God be in charge og our familly size and I often wonder and pray about getting through the pregnancies.
@heidi wilson, Heidi,
Glad to hear you and your husband are trusting God for your family size. Awesome!!It is hard, but very rewarding. My husband and I have been called to do this as well. We have 8 beautiful children and love it. I had my last one at 40 years old and he is 17 mths old. I have one in diapers and one graduating in 2012. Yes, some days are hard and you cry out to the Lord for strength. But there are many more happy memories then hard.
Through my experiences and pregnancys… I have found Salmon Oil continuous consumption from a reliable source to help with depression. It also is nourishing to you and your babies brain and nervous system.
I am going to leave you with a few of my favorite books…Shonda Parker The Natural Pregnancy, The Bradley Method (Awesome for delivery!!), The How to Herb book (resource for pregnancy and baby care after delivery).
Thank you for this encouraging reply, Sue!
My husband & I have also surrendered our family size & spacing to the Lord & I too struggle with thoughts of “how are we ever going to deal with this again & again?!?” While I have not dealt with depression, I have extreme morning sickness (basically on modified bedrest) for the first 12-14 weeks (I’m on week 11 right now with our third child) & my husband has to take complete control of managing our home & our young children. It has been a very difficult season, but we have learned a lot about ourselves & our family. God is good! I am so thankful for our support system of friends & family as well & hope they will support us in the future, even when we’re pregnant with #10 (or however many He chooses blesses us with!). I will have to check out the books you recommended as well!
Abundant bessings on you Sue & you Heidi!!!
Depression is real…I have a lot of depression in my family.
I didn’t suffer while I was pregnant but afterwards I always had the blues. My fourth baby came at a very difficult time in my life, my sister’s marriage was falling apart and I was involved way to much. I went past the baby blues to monster mode.
It had to be a loving supportive husband to recognize that this wasn’t the real me! I was beyond myself and reality. I didn’t want to hurt my children so I retreated inwardly and began thinking about hurting myself. A doctor that I went to basically told me I was overworked and if I wanted she could prescribe antidepressants. I was breastfeeding and didn’t feel like that was an alternative. In the end they did help with some progesterone cream. That was very good.
But the best help was the comfort, prayer and support from loved ones who were able to convince me that that this wasn’t the real Jessica. Their reassurance and understanding with listening ears as I described the horrible thoughts that went thru my mind, brought me to where I could finally pray myself and be an over-comer.
As the following two children were born and nurtured I was more aware of the warning signals of depression and just let things go in order to get more rest. I faithfully took good supplements to feed my body. I didn’t need the hormone help, but I was careful not to tax my body beyond my adrenal’s ability to keep up. Feeding my body and spirit continuously, as I matured and healed.
Thanks so much for a great post! I struggle with a severe form of baby blues. I get extremely and irrationally anxious, nearly paranoid starting 4 days post-partum and peaking at day 7 post-partum. I truly dread day 7 more than anything. I would go through labor and delivery again in order to avoid how I feel on day 7 after having a baby. I usually spend the day weeping for hours on end. Slowly it gets better. Thankfully, by day 10 I usually start to see light at the end of the tunnel and by day 14 I am beginning to feel like my old self.
All of these stories are just such a strong testiment to the fact that our minds and our bodies interact strongly and hormones can be a real wild card. If they can change our blood physiology, our immune system and allow another being to grow in us, then certainly changing our moods is well within their powers. Every woman should be aware of this possibility and she and her family should watch for symptoms that are concerning while pregnant and after the birth of the baby through a child’s infancy. These thoughts can be scary and uncontrollable and need to be dealt with appropriately – whether through therapy, alternative treatments or medication. The answer is different for everyone, but the problem needs addressing regardless.
Thanks for bringing this to our attention and speaking so openly about your experience, including your treatment. I have no doubt that it will be a great help to many women.
I have 8 kids, the youngest being 17 months old. I was 40 when I gave birth to him from home. It was my 3rd home birth…a very awesome experience. I just wanted to share with you that I think Salmon Oil (omega-3, omega 6 fatty acids) help extensively with depression. While pregnant the baby will be without nutritionally if we neglect something except those wonderful omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids. Our babies drain our supplies down and if you continue to have kids within 2 years of each other then those stores don’t have time to replace themselves. I have been on a great Salmon Oil for 8 years. I continue to take 4 – 5 gel caps daily (GNLD) is by far my favorite. I also like Garden of Life by Jordin Rubin.
When I was pregnant with Samuel # 8… later in the pregnancy I started to have a few pimples…so I read my body and started taking more salmon oil per day and that cleared the pimples up. I read that as I was needing more per day with this 8th child then the others. I also continue taking the Oil through nursing….its brain food for the baby!!
Lastly, I am a register nurse (practicing herbs naturally from home not hospital work anymore). I have done extensive reading on nutrition and herbs…natural delivery (The Bradley Method if you haven’t read about it…get the book). If you have questions or are interested in learning more about reading your body and adjusting your nutrition to fit the demands of your pregnancy, feel free to e-mail at email@example.com.
I love your blog and have recommended it to several of my Christian friends. Keep up the good work. Excited about baby 3!!!
Thanks for sharing your story and congratulations on your pregnancy. I was depressed when pregnant with two out of three of my kids. My third pregnancy was definitely the worse as far as the depression. I think antenatal depression is probably more common than we realize. I had three children in three years and my body took a huge beating due to three pregnancies so close together. What helped me during my second and third pregnancy was exercise. I exercised regularly for 45 minutes a day. I could really tell a difference in my mood, patience and sadness on the days that I didn’t workout. It didn’t end my before baby blues, but it did soften my symptoms. I also tried to set up things to look forward to every week. It was usually something small like a walk with my family or pampering (pedicure or getting my hair done.) With my second, we waited 37 weeks before we caved into finding out the gender. I was just so miserable being pregnant and my hubby thought if we could take my mind off of my misery and focus on shopping for baby stuff that it would help. I think it did. It was VERY difficult for so many reasons, but I made it through it. My youngest is two and I actually finally got on medication because even after two years I was still struggling with depression. I don’t even take pain reliever when I have a headache, so it was a tough decision to go on medication, but I am so happy that I finally did. My life really hasn’t changed, but my ability to cope with it and feel like my head is clearer has greatly changed. I will be praying for you and wish you the best through this pregnancy.
I am currently pregnant with #4 and find myself hiding from my neighbors and being negative and overwhelmed a lot of the time. I spoke with my midwife about it this week and she suggested St. John’s Wort, Lemon Balm, and Chamomile tea. This might be a a more natural alternative for people to try before they get on anti-depressants.
Hello Nicole, I have read that you are taking st Johns Wort..my GP was adamant that I was not to take st Johns Wort during my pregnancy. It might be best to check with a GP in regards to st Johns Wort. Regards from Melanie a Midwife.
Thank you so much for writing about this topic. Unacknowledged depression is a serious issue that has affected my life in so many ways. Thanks for being willing to put yourself out there for the benefit of others. God is really using your story to help people.
I asked my husband when we were expecting our third child if you could go through post-partum depression while still pregnant. I was crying all the time. Now I know!
Thank you, thank you, thank you for this post. I am 14 weeks pregnant with my second child and have been feeling extremely overwhelmed, irritable, and unhappy. I didn’t know there was such a thing as antenatal depression. No one ever talks about it. I never had this with my first child. This post is a huge encouragement to me that I’m not going through something abnormal or something that is of my own making. I talked with my OB about my feelings yesterday and she has suggested counseling as the safest treatment and potentially an anti-depressant if it proves necessary.
Thank you again for talking about this topic. It is so helpful to know I’m not alone in this experience.
Thank you for this post.
How are you feeling now?
I am currently 14 weeks pregnant (our other child is 3), and instead of feeling happy, I am feeling anxious and disconnected. A few panic attacks and loss of sleep and weight. This has been so unexpected for me because my first pregnancy was wonderful. I am 37 and have had a rough first trimester with being so sick. I have to remind myself that this TEMPORARY and that the long term benefits will FAR outweigh all of this junk I’m going through mentally (and physically). I’m taking half a benadryl (which OB says is safe) on those days where I need to calm down, taking prenatal yoga and distracting myself with activities as much as possible.
It’s amazing what women can overcome and produce. Growing another human inside of our bodies while trying to maintan so much is surely a hard thing to do and utterly amazing that we make it through!
God bless all of you moms!
Thanks for the post and all the comments. I am pregnant with my first, so I had no baseline idea of what it would be like. We were trying to get pregnant and many things in my life are where I want them to be so there isn’t an obvious stressor….but for 3 weeks- from about 6 weeks through 8 weeks I felt pretty bad. It was different than I expected and I thought it might be all in my head! I had some nausea and some fatigue but nothing compared to what I had braced myself for. Mostly I just felt completely disconnected. It was Christmas time and I had no interest in decorating, cooking, visiting or celebrating with family. I didn’t even read through the pamphlets from our first doctors appointment. I got the baby books I ordered in the mail and didn’t read them…..it felt weird. I kept telling everyone I was just really tired, which they expected, but I wasn’t I was just disinterested….in everything. I was happy that I was pregnant but couldn’t muster any enthusiasm when I told people. Then literally overnight the nausea, fatigue and depression subsided. Still a little of the first two on and off but I feel back to my regular self. It wasn’t until I felt better that I realized how depressed I had been! For me I think it was a combination of a lot of things, hormones, normal fears of change and a new part of my life starting, my natural response to physical and emotional stress (sleep and be introverted) and having Christmas break, which put me at home with nothing to do for two weeks. I am glad it passed but now know what to be on the lookout for during the rest of the pregnancy and after delivery. Its so hard to discern these feelings from regular pregnancy fatigue and moodiness!
Thank you for this article. I am 7 weeks pregnant and have been struggling with a great deal of anxiety and depression. On top of the normal worries about pregnancy I worry about how this is affecting my 2 yr old son and unborn baby which is addding to the anxious feelings I have been having. I too call upon my mom, aunt and other close family members to discuss my feelings. I dont have insurance so its a lot cheaper than scheduling an appt. With a pyschiatrist. Sry about your experience but I am glad to know I am not alone in this struggle. I fear the months after the baby is born more than anything. Will I be able to handle 2 children all very scary. Thank you again and good luck!
I’m Melanie and I am 13 weeks pregnant; I am also a midwife. I have had depression for 17 years, which is half of my life, triggered by an abusive childhood. Since I have been pregnant I have had to eliminate anti-depressant therapy, which has been quite difficult. Over the last few days, my depression seems to have become worse, so much so where I have had to take a few days off work. It is difficult to accept that my illness has savaged especially at a time where I should be happy. My anxiety is triggered by guilt relating to work to the overwhelming feeling of how I am going to cope with my work roster whilst being pregnant. I have a very supportive husband, but not many friends and family live very far away, which is difficult to cope with at times. If anyone has any suggestions or ideas on how to help me it would be very much appreciated. How do I cope with an overwhelming roster whilst being pregnant and being away from loved ones..thank you and regards from Melanie
I could have written that!! Pm me and we can email x
I can’t thank you enough Stacey for this article. I am 10 weeks pregnant and have been extremely sad. After reading your experience, I have decided to seek help. Many thanks and god bless.
I have to say that for the past few of hours i have been hooked by the impressive articles on this site. Keep up the great work.
Thank you for sharing your experience, it’s comforting to know that I’m not alone. It’s so difficult to have so much pressure on you to be happy and act in the ways people expect. You just feel like you’re letting everyone down and nobody really understands what you’re going through. I’m 20 weeks pregnant right now and feel like this is the worst time of my life. My doctor chalked my feelings up to hormonal changes during the first trimester and referred me to a counselor. The counselor is great, just knowing that I was having symptoms of anxiety helped me label the problems I was having and work through them. I was feeling much better at the beginning of my second trimester, even feeling excited about the pregnancy when a few weeks later I started crying uncontrollably over what I perceived as social rejection which worsened throughout an entire week to me feeling terrible about my life and marriage and even waking up in the middle of the night crying for hours until I could go back to sleep. My counselor has recommended medication which I’m considering to be worth the risk at the moment. I’m worried that on top of being personally miserable I’m going to ruin the lives of my husband and new baby in the meantime.
It’s reassuring to read articles like this amongst all of the ones that simply show pregnancy as a time of complete happiness, rainbows and butterflies, and so on. I think a lot of women go through this, but it’s just something that so many don’t talk about, and in the age of facebook and so on, all we here are the positive moments, which further alienates us from the idea that it’s not always like that. I think I struggle w/ anxiety and depression because I don’t have any family nearby and really only have my husband as a support system, when I see other people that have tons of friends and relatives who want to help
Thank you so much for this article Stacey. This is an issue that is so rarely spoken about and so important to acknowledge. With hindsight I had depression during my pregnancy. Its so difficult because everyone expects you to be so happy and if you show any doubts/negative thoughts then people suspect that you don’t want your baby which of course is not the case. The most difficult aspect for me was that for much of the pregnancy my low mood caused a rift with my husband right at the time when we’d imagined we’d feel closest to eachother. Fortunately things are much better now but I think it would have been useful if i’d been aware of natal depression as a phenomena when I was going through it. If any of your readers are in this situation i’d highly recommend speaking to someone and not doing what I did which was to retreat and eat junk food! Its a cliche but excercise helps too. I found doing a yoga video a few times a week really helpful.
This is how I have been feeling too. I feel like what she wrote is exactly what I have been feeling. I guess I should bring this to the attention of my obgyn. I sort of chalked it up to quitting cigarettes cold turkey and the said depression that can follow that, along with hormonal changes. I almost feel bi polar at times. Laughing so hard at something not really that funny and then just so sad and down 30 minutes later. I am 13 weeks and this is also my third pregnancy – found out I was pregnant at 4 weeks. I am a married Mother with two sons – have been married 12 years and my sons are 11 and 8 so we are starting over again.
I’m experiencing a lot of rage and depression during my pregnancy (I’m in the last trimester). My husband and I have been going through a lot of marital problems and recently family members think it’s my fault for not being able to control myself. They say that everyone gets pregnant and I’m not the only one and that I should be able to control myself. I was like “yeah?” Did anyone you know go through all these emotional problems with their husband (my husband already has major personal problems). ” On top of that, we’re going through MAJOR financial problems and I have gestational diabetes. I love how NO ONE I know in my personal life is understanding.
Thank you for this. 🙂 My husband and I found out yesterday we are pregnant with our 3rd and I haven’t been able to stop feeling ashamed. And this frustrates me! I can’t stop rehearsing our baby #2 reveal to my parents a few years ago when my parents were not very excited as we’ve always had a difficult marriage which worries them. We also don’t have a lot of money and I’m feeling guilty for maybe not being good stewards of the two blessings we already have. This is no doubt God’s plan and my husband and I have even talked over the past six months about possibly having another baby in the future but now that its here, I just can’t shake guilt and shame and I have no idea why other than what my parents might think, which is silly, this is our baby and our life. Do you ha e any advice on feeling shame based on others reactions?
I don’t think I have any advice for you but I think I understand how you feel. We’re expecting our fourth child in August 2018 and I am also dealing with feeling shame from people’s reactions. My mother, grandmother and sister all dislike my husband and weren’t thrilled about any of my pregnancies. This time has been even harder for me after a miscarriage in October. This subsequent pregnacy I’ve been very anxious and depressed, so the negative or indifferent reactions are harder to brush off.
Being married for 15 years now I feel like I should be secure enough that others’ opinions wouldn’t matter but they do. I’ve been seeing a counselor but so far it hasn’t made a lot of positive impact. I’m thankful for this article and the comments, it gives me hope that there is something I can do to feel better. I hope you can find a way to be happy and excited for yourself and your family despite what others may think!
I’m so glad to have read this. I realize this is an older post but as I was googling trying to find some insight on what I’m feeling, I found this post. I’m struggling with everything you mentioned although I’m not too concerned about the suicidal thoughts as I doubt I would ever act on them. I feel guilty that I even feel all the things I’m feeling and I’m worried to voice it to anyone. I know I’m affecting my children and husband, and I’m afraid to mention anything to the doctor because I haven’t been taken seriously in the past and I also don’t want them thinking I’m just trying to get pills from them (as I’ve been treated before). I don’t have a history of taking prescription pills and I try my best to stay away from them…..but I’m feeling at an all time low and almost desperate to change. I don’t even know where I’m going with all this, I found your post and almost felt relieved someone else has felt the way I do. And now I can voice it to someone I think will understand. I do have an appointment with the OB today and I’m hoping to find the courage to mention it at my appointment.