Experiences of Depression during Pregnancy

Dr. Gregg Jantz is founder and leader of The Center for Counseling and Health Resources, one of the top depression treatment facilities in the United States. A prolific writer and public speaker, Dr. Gregg Jantz has authored many books on mental health topics, including Moving Beyond Depression: A Whole Person Approach to Healing.

In May of 2015, the New York Times published a piece on women who experience depression during pregnancy, a phenomenon also called antenatal depression. According to research, 10 to 15 percent of women experience antenatal depression, yet many women are not told that they could become anxious or depressed during pregnancy. As a result, pregnant women who are experiencing symptoms of depression may go untreated. In addition to negative consequences for the mother, untreated depression during pregnancy can increase the risk that babies will experience preterm birth, post-delivery complications, and lower birth weight.

A variety of treatment options are available for antenatal depression, including talk psychotherapy, light therapy, electroshock therapy, and medications such as antidepressants. However, for any treatment to be effective, women must be told that depression during pregnancy may occur and be encouraged to share any symptoms they experience with their doctors.