During pregnancy, women experience both physical and emotional changes that can affect their moods. While it’s common to be worried about labor, giving birth and taking care of the new baby, extreme negative shifts in emotions – triggered by hormones – can be unhealthy for mom and baby and may be signs of depression and anxiety. It’s important to understand the signs and know when to get help.
What is depression?
When you’re pregnant, it's sometimes difficult to tell the difference between feeling a little down for a day or two or something more serious. Depression is a common mood disorder. If the way you’re feeling from day to day doesn’t seem right to you, it could be depression.
Common signs of depression during pregnancy:
- Persistent sadness
- Difficulty concentrating
- Sleeping too little or too much
- Loss of interest in activities that are usually enjoyed
- Thoughts of suicide
- Feelings of guilt or worthlessness
- Excessive anxiety about your baby
What is anxiety?
Experiencing anxiety at times is a normal part of life. However, if you’re often feeling intense and excessive worry and fear that’s affecting your quality of life, it could be an anxiety disorder.
Common signs of anxiety include:
- Feeling nervous, restless or tense
- Having a sense of impending danger, panic or doom
- Having an increased heart rate
- Breathing rapidly
- Feeling weak or tired
- Trouble concentrating or thinking about anything other than worrying
How can depression and anxiety affect your baby?
When you’re depressed, you often don’t have the strength or desire to properly care for yourself or your growing baby. Depressed moms also may find it difficult to bond with their newborn. Anxiety can cause low birth weight and later developmental problems in your child. Because of these and other risks, getting help at the first signs of depression or anxiety is so important.
Get the support and help you and your baby deserve
If you’re experiencing emotional changes or if you think that you may be depressed, make an appointment to talk with your health care provider right away. Most people get better with treatment. And getting help now is what’s best for you and your baby. Use our Find a Doctor tool to get the care you need. The Maternal Infant Health Program includes mental health services. It includes visits with a mental health specialist, as well as referrals to a mental health provider. You can still receive mental health services even if you’re not enrolled in MIHP. For more information, call Customer Service at 1-800-228-8554 24 hours a day, seven days a week (TTY: 1-888-987-5832).
Find resources in your area
Use our Community Resource Hub to find help close to home. Visit mibluecrosscomplete.com/resources and enter your ZIP code into the search box. Then, select the category that fits your needs. You’ll find a variety of programs offering no-cost or reduced cost services, including utilities, household items, transportation, housing and food. More from MIBluesPerspectives:
- Pregnant in a Pandemic
- Chronic Conditions Negatively Affecting Pregnancy Outcomes
- Oral Health During Pregnancy and After for Baby
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