Written by - Gaurav Parab

Growing a tiny human inside your body is no small feat. Pregnancy journeys have often been romanticised in popular media but let's face it, maternity is no jolly affair. There are several changes, both mental and physical, that you will undergo. One such challenge is pregnancy depression or “Prenatal depression”. Yes, baby blues are a real thing. Pregnancy doesn’t just cause a ripple in your emotions; sometimes it's a full-blown storm. Why does it happen? How intense can it get? And most importantly, how do you tackle it?


What is Prenatal Depression?

Prenatal Depression is a mood disorder where the patient experiences persistent feelings of sadness, anxiety or irritability. 

Understanding the Spectrum 

There is a spectrum of severity when it comes to prenatal depression, ranging from mild sadness to intense depression. The experience of prenatal depression can vary from woman to woman, like pregnancy itself. 

Remember, you are not alone, Prenatal depression is not a rare phenomenon, in fact, around 1 in every 7 women suffers from this complication. Hence, there are several effective treatments available to manage prenatal  depression for a healthier pregnancy.

Triggers of Prenatal Depression 

Understanding the causes of Prenatal depression is incredibly important to avoid any sort of complications in your pregnancy. 

Hormonal Changes 

Hormonal imbalance during pregnancy can cause several changes in your body. They affect brain chemicals like serotonin and dopamine, which influence mood, and hormonal changes disrupt the balance of these chemicals, leading to mood disorders and prenatal depression. 

Family History

It has been observed that mental health conditions can be inherited. Women with a family history of mood disorders during pregnancy are more likely to be affected by prenatal depression. Since these conditions can be passed down through generations, it's important to discuss your family history with your loved ones to identify potential risks early on. Inform your healthcare professional if you have a family history of prenatal depression to receive suitable treatment so that you can nip this condition in the bud.

Other Pregnancy Challenges

There are a lot of real-world stressors that can cause prenatal depression, Here are a few: 

  • Financial burden: The financial implications of having a baby can be extremely significant for your family. The anxiety about future financial changes due to the baby can contribute to prenatal depression.
  • New Responsibility: The idea of soon becoming a mom can be overwhelming. It is completely natural to feel this way. However, intense nervousness and anxiety are not going to help in any way and can be a contributing factor in prenatal depression. 
  • Previous Miscarriages: If you've had difficulties conceiving or experienced miscarriages before, it's understandable to feel anxious this time around. These past experiences might contribute to feeling down during pregnancy.

Symptoms of Prenatal Depression 


Changes In Behavior

You may observe several changes in your behaviour if you suffer from Prenatal depression. It is important to identify these changes for early treatment and intervention.

  • Irritability, Mood Swings, and Excessive Worrying: Feeling easily agitated, experiencing mood swings, and persistently worrying.
  • Loss of Interest in Enjoyable Activities: No longer finding pleasure in hobbies or activities.
  • Feelings of Melancholy and Guilt: Persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, or guilt that seem overwhelming and difficult to manage.
  • Lack of Focus and Indecisiveness: Difficulty concentrating, making decisions, or staying on task.



Physical Changes 

In addition to behavioural symptoms, prenatal depression can manifest in various physical changes:

  • Fatigue and Headaches: Constantly feeling tired and having frequent headaches can impact daily functioning.
  • Appetite Changes: Sudden shift in appetite, leading to either overeating or loss of appetite.
  • Difficulty in Connecting with Your Partner: Not being able to build a physical relationship with your partner. 

Potential Risks of Prenatal Depression on your baby

Severe prenatal depression can have several damaging effects on your baby:

  • Prenatal depression increases the possibility of your baby being underweight, typically under 2500 grams. This can cause a lot of growth and health issues for your baby.
  • Prenatal depression can lead to premature birth in some cases. This can cause a number of complications to the baby's health. 
  • It is observed that babies born to mothers with prenatal depression can be irritable and less active compared to babies born to mothers without depression.
  • Your child may face difficulty learning in the future. 


Can prenatal depression be cured? 

Don't worry, moms-to-be! While prenatal depression can pose risks to your baby's health and development, it's important to know that there are several effective treatments and support available to help manage this condition.

  • First and foremost, if you feel that you are experiencing prenatal depression, seek a healthcare professional immediately. Doing so can help you start treatment at an early stage. 
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Interpersonal Therapy (IPT) are effective forms of counselling.
  • Antidepressants, such as SSRIs, may be prescribed under medical supervision.
  • Involving your partner in emotional support and relationship-building
  • Individual therapy sessions with healthcare professionals.


Prenatal Depression is a serious condition however, there is no need to be terrified about it. As mentioned earlier, this condition is not very uncommon and has numerous treatments and methods to get rid of it. 

Becoming a mother is extremely special. As a mother, you possess immense strength and resilience to overcome issues such as prenatal depression. 

With the right care and support, you can navigate through prenatal depression and emerge stronger, ready to welcome your little one into a world filled with love and hope.