Depression in Pregnancy Can Affect the Baby, Know the Risks

Depression in Pregnancy Can Affect the Baby, Know the Risks

Depression in pregnancy is characterized by mood swings, anxiety, and sadness, which can culminate in loss of interest in the pregnancy. The diagnosis is made by the doctor after the observation of symptoms that must be present in at least 1 month.

The causes of depression in pregnancy may be the hormonal variations that occur during pregnancy, in addition to the stressful life, pregnancy complicated, domestic violence, fertility problems, previous abortion or previous unwanted pregnancy, for example. The teenagers are the ones that have higher chances of suffering with depression during pregnancy, especially if you have had a crisis of anxiety or depression previously.

Depression in pregnancy has no cure and its treatment should be indicated by a doctor, psychiatrist after assessment of the woman and of the conditions of your pregnancy.

Depression affects the baby?

Depression in pregnancy affects the baby because the mothers depressed have higher hormonal changes, less careful with food and health, and interact little with the baby in formation, which impairs fetal development, the proven to increase the chances of premature birth and a baby with low weight. In addition, women with depression in the last trimester of gestation has a greater need for epidural, birth with forceps, and the newly born has no further need of hospitalization in neonatal.


Symptoms of depression in pregnancy

The mood swings during pregnancy are normal, as a result of changes in hormone levels that a woman undergoes this stage. However, if these variations persist for weeks or months, the woman should talk with their obstetrician to assess the situation and see if you can be with depression.

To characterize the depression, you need to bring at least 5 of the following symptoms:

  • Sadness on most days;
  • Anxiety;
  • Crying;
  • Loss of interest in daily activities;
  • Irritability;
  • Agitation or slowness almost every day;
  • Fatigue or loss of energy every day, or most of the time;
  • Sleep disturbances such as insomnia or drowsiness, exaggerated, almost every day;
  • Excess or lack of appetite;
  • Lack of concentration and indecisiveness nearly every day;
  • Feelings of guilt or of loss of the greater part of the time;
  • Thoughts of death or suicide with or without suicide attempt.

Many times, depression in pregnancy leads to time away from work, because the woman can’t do the daily activities and becomes tired easily. The symptoms usually emerge in the first or in the last trimester and in the first month after the birth of the baby.

How is the treatment of depression in pregnancy

The treatment can be done with sessions of psychotherapy that improve the quality of life and increase the self-confidence of women. Alternative therapies, like acupuncture, are also indicated to treat depression. Physical activity, healthy eating and family support are other ways indispensable to treat depression in pregnancy.


The medicine antidepressants such as Fluoxetine should be avoided in pregnancy, however, in more severe cases, the doctor can evaluate the risk-benefit ratio and to indicate the taking of this type of medicine. It is not advised to take natural remedies because they can harm the baby, including the herb-de-são-joão, commonly used against depression, it is contraindicated in this phase.

In spite of the midwife to accompany the entire pregnancy the doctor, a psychiatrist, is not dispensable, if the doctor is the most indicated to monitor the woman during the pregnancy.

What can cause depression in pregnancy

Situations such as lack of emotional support, comfort, affection, and assistance can trigger depression in a woman during pregnancy. Other factors that also contribute to the development of depression in this phase of life are:

  • The woman have already experienced depression before becoming pregnant, or any other psychiatric disorder such as bouts of anxiety, for example;
  • Previous pregnancy complicated the previous case of miscarriage or loss of a child;
  • Not being married, not having financial security, to be separated or does not have planned the pregnancy.


Problems stressful like the fights with the partner, history of separation or divorce, serious health problems, kidnapping, history of fire or catastrophe, the death of a close person, assault, sexual abuse, physical abuse, are factors that can also trigger depression, but it can also develop in people who were not exposed to these situations.

Depression in Pregnancy Can Affect the Baby, Know the Risks 1