The pregnant blues are real. When you can’t shake them, they may develop into a more serious condition called antepartum depression. We don’t talk about either nearly enough.
We’re slightly better at discussing depression after childbirth (slightly) but when it comes to chatting about the feelings you may be having during pregnancy? Well, this is too often swept under that very large rug where we hide many other pregnancy-related topics.
This silence is a problem, because it might only make things worse. It’s really time we normalized the conversation. So here goes.
The pregnant blues
Pregnancy can be, to use the old cliche, an emotional rollercoaster. Your body is changing in all sorts of ways, your hormones are everywhere and you’re about to go through a major life change. Pretty normal to be feeling out of sorts. And that’s what the pregnancy blues are.
The pregnancy hormone cocktail (HCG, estrogen, progesterone) may leave you feeling blissfully happy in one moment, and teary and frustrated the next. This is all totally, utterly, completely normal. You’re allowed to be all over the place.
Listen up, mama: you are not doing anything wrong. This is hard.
Is it normal to be angry during pregnancy?
Yes. And sad. And confused. And anxious. (And sometimes weirdly horny, but that’s a conversation for a different day.)
Chat to your Peanut community. Just asking another mama How long did your baby blues last? can go a seriously long way. Connection is everything.
Can my baby feel my emotions when pregnant?
You are so intensely super connected to that little being growing inside you. They can sense what you sense—and, yes, feel what you feel. But this doesn’t mean that you have to be cheery all the time. It just means that self-care matters. (It always matters but now it matters in this particular way.) Prioritizing your mental health is not a luxury.
Does crying during pregnancy affect the baby?
There’s a lot to cry about when you’re pregnant. Those hormone changes for one. And the fact that your body is hurting and swelling in all sorts of places. And does nobody else get how very moving that bread commercial is? Shedding tears when you’re pregnant is totally normal and won’t affect your baby negatively. (Hot tip: crying is often more common in the first trimester because estrogen and progesterone levels are on the upswing.)
Antepartum depression, on the other hand, can impact your pregnancy and the health of your baby, possibly contributing to low birth weight and preterm delivery. This is what it is and what you can do about it:
Prepartum depression (AKA antepartum depression) is common. As in 15% of pregnant women suffer from it. Depression is more than feeling emotional. It is a mood disorder that requires treatment.
- Not being to shake the pregnant blues
- Struggling to find joy in things you love
- Serious brain fog
- Major fatigue
- Feeling guilty and like you’re not enough
- Trouble sleeping
- Isolating yourself from the people you love
Also, it can just happen. To anyone. But, you may be at higher risk if:
- You have experienced anxiety and depression before.
- You don’t have the support you need from family and friends
- You have had a miscarriage before
- You are experiencing any sort of violence
- You’re going through other stressful situations while you’re pregnant (finances, relationships, work stress, etc.)
- You are struggling with substance abuse
- You have had any trouble eating and/or sleeping
Antepartum depression is serious—and there is help out there. Chat to your healthcare provider about counseling and medication options.
You matter. You are not alone. You will get through this.