Depression during pregnancy: You're not alone

By Mayo Clinic Staff

If you're pregnant, chances are you've heard about postpartum depression. But did you know that many women also experience depression during pregnancy? Here's what you need to know about pregnancy and depression.

How common is depression during pregnancy?

Research suggests that about 14 to 23 percent of all pregnant women experience depression during pregnancy.

Depression, a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest, is the most common mood disorder in the general population. The condition occurs twice as often in women as in men, and the initial onset of depression peaks during a woman's reproductive years.

Why does depression during pregnancy often go unrecognized?

Some symptoms of depression, including changes in sleep, energy level, appetite and libido, are similar to symptoms of pregnancy. As a result, your health care provider might attribute these symptoms to your pregnancy, rather than depression.

Women might also be reluctant to talk to their health care providers about changes in moods during pregnancy.

What are the risk factors for depression during pregnancy?

Some risk factors for depression during pregnancy include:

  • Anxiety
  • Life stress
  • History of depression
  • Poor social support
  • Unintended pregnancy
  • Intimate partner violence
Nov. 24, 2016 See more In-depth