Depression during pregnancy is one of the factors that overshadows the happy expectation period of a baby. But patients with this pathology should also be under the supervision of doctors and receive help, since the psycho-emotional factor is one of those against which the intrauterine development of the fetus can be impaired.


The underlying cause of depression during pregnancy is the total restructuring of the woman’s body when the fetus is born. During this period, the hormonal background and metabolic (metabolic) processes in the tissues, in particular, in the structures of the brain responsible for the emotional and mental state of a woman, are primarily changed.

According to clinical observations, depression during pregnancy occurred even in previously cheerful, positive-minded women.
But adverse psycho-emotional conditions still exacerbate the course of the described disease.

The role is played by:

  • family quarrels;
  • failures in the professional field;
  • low material security;
  • uncertainty about the future of the child (based on social conditions and living standards in the country of residence);
  • conflict situations in society.


A special role in the development of a depressed state is attributed to the state of the limbic system. One of its functions is the regulation of motivation, emotions and behavioral reactions. Violation of the state of the limbic system can be observed due to the influence of various factors.

These may be factors:

  • toxic (they are also chemical);
  • physical;
  • hormonal;
  • bad habits.

To toxic factors include any compounds with aggressive properties – used in industry, agriculture, everyday life.

Also, biological compounds can be considered a toxic factor in this case – this:

  • toxins of microorganisms;
  • products of their vital activity and decay of dead pathogens;
  • toxic substances that accumulate in the body in violation of their output or are formed in violation of the metabolism. A striking example is nitrogenous compounds – they can accumulate in tissues in case of impaired renal function in case of damage.

The physical factors contributing to the disruption of the limbic system are, first of all, radioactive radiation.

Of hormonal disorders, in the first place, they play the role of:

  • diabetes mellitus – a violation of the metabolism of carbohydrates due to a deficiency of the hormone insulin;
  • thyroid pathologies that lead to disorders of its hormones – such as hypothyroidism (a decrease in the number of thyroid hormones) and hyperthyroidism (an increase in their number).

This factor is one of the most important, since thyroid hormones regulate metabolism throughout the body – including in the brain tissue. Of bad habits, alcohol consumption, which in a destructive way affects brain tissue, is significant in damage to the limbic system.
Depression during pregnancy more often occurs if these factors and mechanisms were involved before the gestation period (gestation).


The main signs of depression during pregnancy are:

  • depressed mood;
  • anhedonia – inability to feel pleasure from various things;
  • indifference to current events – both positive and negative color;
  • the need to be alone;
  • lack of desire to carry out some actions (not only strategic life, but also the usual everyday routine).

Depression during pregnancy is not characterized by outbursts of emotions, irritability, tearfulness, nervousness – on the contrary, a woman turns into an indifferent creature.


Suspicion of the occurrence of depression during pregnancy requires the immediate intervention of a specialist psychiatrist: only he can make an accurate diagnosis.
Diagnosis is based on the patient’s complaints (and if she refuses to answer questions – on the basis of information provided by the woman’s relatives and relatives), details of the medical history (development history) of the pathology, and the results of additional research methods.
On examination, the sick doctor notes her depressed mood, reluctance to contact him, “mean” answers to questions, long thought before answering. Since depression during pregnancy can provoke certain changes in the structures of the brain, additional research methods are prescribed according to indications.
Of the additional research methods, electroencephalography (EEG) can be involved – during it, a graphical recording of the biopotentials generated by brain cells is performed. Avoid instrumental research methods fraught with radioactive irradiation of the body of the future mother and fetus – radiography, computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging of the brain. Differential (distinctive) diagnostics of the described pathology is not carried out, since the symptomatology is indicative.


Violation of the psychoemotional background is one of the reasons for the violation of fetal development. Therefore, in this case, one should beware of the occurrence of congenital malformations of the child.


There is a misconception that depression can be eliminated using exclusively psychotherapeutic techniques. This is not so, since the pathology is based on complex chemical processes in the tissues of the brain.

Another misconception is that a pregnant woman will “disappear” if she is encouraged with a kind word or, on the contrary, criticized for her “inability” to cope with a depressive state. But such methods of “treatment” are extremely dangerous, as they can aggravate the symptoms. Treatment of depression during pregnancy should be carried out exclusively by a specialist.

Methods of treating this pathology are:

  • non-drug;
  • medication.

Non-pharmacological methods include:

  • various psychotherapeutic techniques;
  • art therapy – a beneficial effect on the pregnant due to the contemplation of art;
  • occupational therapy – the performance of some feasible work;
  • animal therapy – a beneficial effect on the future mother of communication with animals and so on.

A drug treatment for the disease is the use of antidepressants. The decision about their admission to the pregnant psychiatrist is made in conjunction with the obstetrician-gynecologist. The specific names of the drugs are authorized to be announced by the attending physician to a pregnant woman requiring treatment.


There are no methods that would guarantee the prevention of depression during pregnancy, because anyway significant changes occur in the woman’s body. But the risk of developing this pathology can be reduced if psychologically comfortable conditions for the course of pregnancy are provided.


The prognosis for depression during pregnancy is different. It largely depends on the professional level of the psychiatrist, as well as on whether pronounced changes in the female body continue against the background of gestation.

Often, depression that occurs during pregnancy is eliminated on its own after delivery.

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