When I started doing some research, I realized that I wasn't alone. Although there is precious little literature and web information for women who experience depression during pregnancy, it is unfortunately common. The most definitive book I've found on the subject, Pregnancy Blues: What Every Woman Needs to Know About Depression During Pregnancy, cites one Canadian study that estimates up to 25% of women are depressed during their second trimester.
Depression in pregnancy is a real problem, even if many people (doctors included) subscribe to the notion that higher levels of estrogen during pregnancy "make women happy." Many women suffer from it; many also struggle to find help for it.
It's my goal to provide a list of resources for women who may be experiencing depression during pregnancy, and possibly establish a discussion forum for them to gather support.
Note that this list is not comprehensive, but a work in progress. If you know of a resource that should be added, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are suicidal or considering harming yourself or your baby, do not hesitate to get help. Contact either:
- The Suicide Hotline, at 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433). There are also local suicide hotlines; for a list of contacts in your state go to http://suicidehotlines.com and click on your state
- The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255)
- Any other suicide hotline. There are a ton of other hotlines and talk sites; just do a google search and find one that works for you. Talking to anybody is better than hurting yourself or your baby.
While a search for "postpartum depression" brings up 3,821 hits on Amazon.com, a search for "pregnancy depression" brings up 1, 525 hits -- and by the time you get to the fifth or sixth book on the list, most of the rest of the books are actually about postpartum depression -- not depression while pregnant. These are the most relevant titles.
- Pregnancy Blues: What Every Woman Needs to Know About Depression During Pregnancy, by Shaila Kulkarni Misri MD
- Understanding Your Moods While You're Expecting: Emotions, Mental Health, and Happiness Before, During, and After Pregnancy, by Lucy Puryear, MD
- Pregnant on Prozac: The Essential Guide to Making the Best Decision for You and Your Baby, by Shoshana S. Bennett, Ph.D.
- Bipolar and Pregnant: How to Manage and Succeed in Planning and Parenting While Living with Manic Depression, by Kristin K. Finn
- American Pregnancy Association's Depression During Pregnancy Page
- BabyCenter.com's page on Depression and Pregnancy
- womenshealth.gov's Depression During and After Pregnancy Fact Sheet
- The March of Dimes has a section on Depression on their "Pregnancy Complications" page
- National Alliance on Mental Health
- National Institute of Mental Health
- Depression Health Center from WebMD.com
- Bipolar Disorder Health Center from WebMD.com
- Medicine.net's Depression Page
- Mayo Clinic's Depression page
- Mayo Clinic's Bipolar Disorder page
- Crazy Meds: The Good, the Bad, and the Funny of Neuropsychopharmacology