Skip to Content
Home > Your Health > Health and Wellness Library > Depression During Pregnancy
View Additional Section Content
Depression is common during pregnancy and in the postpartum period. If you have
symptoms of depression during pregnancy or are
depressed and learn you are pregnant, make a treatment plan with your doctor right away.
If you are being treated for depression and are planning a pregnancy,
talk to your doctor ahead of time. You may be able to taper off of
antidepressant medicine before your pregnancy, to see how you feel during
your first trimester. It's best to be medicine-free, especially
during the first trimester. But if you are severely depressed, your doctor will probably want you to stay on your medicine.
Don't ever suddenly stop taking an antidepressant. This can cause
difficult emotional and physical symptoms and may also affect your fetus. Your
doctor can tell you the best way to taper off of your
If you are not severely depressed, interpersonal counseling or
cognitive-behavioral therapy may be all that you need.
If counseling alone isn't enough, or if your symptoms are severe
and disabling, talk to your doctor about other possible treatments:
Women who take an SSRI during pregnancy have a slightly higher chance of having a baby with birth defects. But not treating depression can also cause problems during pregnancy and birth. If you become pregnant, you and your doctor must weigh the risks of taking an SSRI against the risks of not treating depression.
The U.S. Food and
Drug Administration (FDA) has issued an advisory on antidepressant medicines and the risk of
suicide. Talk to your doctor about these possible side effects and the
warning signs of suicide.
Whether you use counseling, medicine, light therapy, or a
combination, be sure to also get regular exercise, healthy food, fresh air, and
time with people who care about you. These are all important parts of
preventing and treating depression and having a healthy pregnancy.
For information about depression after childbirth, see the topic
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerPatrice Burgess, MD - Family MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerLisa S. Weinstock, MD - Psychiatry
Current as ofMay 30, 2016
Current as of:
May 30, 2016
Patrice Burgess, MD - Family Medicine & Lisa S. Weinstock, MD - Psychiatry
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2016 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Communicate with your medical team, request medication refills and manage appointments through MUHealthe. Learn More
Schedule an appointment today with an MU Health Care provider.
Our support team is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 877-621-8014.
Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.
You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:
Get started learning more about your health!
Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups, and pregnancy.
Feeling under the weather?
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.
Copyright ©2017 — Curators of the University of Missouri. All rights reserved. DMCA and other copyright information.
Equal Opportunity/Access/Affirmative Action/Pro Disabled & Veteran Employer. For website information contact the Office of Communications. Disclaimer