Frequently Asked Questions About Depression and Pregnancy

I was precisely four weeks pregnant when I learned about it. My boyfriend and I did not expect or plan it since we had only been together for a year. However, he promised that he would be an excellent partner and father, so all my worries ebbed away. 

Unfortunately, before the end of my first trimester, I received an email from an unknown sender. Its subject read: “YOU NEED TO SEE THIS.” I was not the type to open such emails for fear of getting spammed, but I did not know what got to me that day, and so I opened it. It was from a girl named Marla, who claimed to be my boyfriend’s wife. She said that he stopped coming home one day, and she begged me to return him to her and their three kids. 

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I could not cry instantly, especially when I scrolled further down and saw my boyfriend’s face in all the pictures that Marla attached. I had no idea what to do next, but I knew one thing: I did not want my boyfriend in my life or my baby’s life. I threw away his clothes from my apartment that night and told him what I learned about his civil status. He tried to explain, but I refused to listen to his excuses.

At the time, no one else knew about my pregnancy. My belly was not showing yet either, so even my coworkers were unaware of it. To lessen my emotional pain, I decided to take double shifts at work and barely eat. It was my way of coping with depression that followed my breakup. And when I wasn’t working, I was crying for the wasted love I gave my ex. 

I soon realized that it was the worst coping mechanism, considering I experienced spotting and almost lost my baby.  

Does crying during pregnancy affect the baby?

Simple crying due to feelings of sadness cannot affect your baby. However, when this becomes a little more than just a simple release of your emotions, this can start to be harmful to your baby. So when you begin to feel depressed, this might have a severe effect on your baby. When this happens, make sure that you can visit a doctor and receive the necessary help that you may require. 

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Is depression a side effect of pregnancy?

Studies suggest that women are more at risk of developing depression when they are pregnant and even after a few weeks of giving birth, which is known as postpartum depression. When a woman is pregnant, her hormone change may affect her brain chemicals, and this will cause her to develop depression and/or anxiety. Some women might see this as the baby blues, but this might be something a little more than that, so make sure that you are consulting a doctor when you start to feel like it is more than that. 

Can your emotions affect your unborn baby?

Yes, your emotions may affect your baby. When a mother feels happy and relaxed, the baby will feel the same way, and they will be developing in a comfortable and calm environment. In turn, a baby may also feel the effects of your stress, anxiety, and depression. This will affect a child’s development from the body to the brain. Ensure that you can address these emotions appropriately, and if you feel like it is more than what you can handle, then go and consult a doctor you trust.

Can you be on depression medication while pregnant?

The answer to this is yes. However, there will be a balance between the risks and the benefits. This is something that, when taken, can help you become better. It will treat your depression, especially when matched with counseling. On the other hand, this may cause some congenital disabilities in your baby due to the exposure to the antidepressants you have been taking. So consult not only with your therapist but also with your OB-gyn to avoid having any further issues, especially with your baby.

Can babies feel when Mom is sad?

The simple answer is yes. The baby will feel what the mother feels. So it is essential to regulate our emotions so that they do not develop into something such as depression or anxiety. Studies have shown that when the mother feels sad or stressed, the baby will feel the same way, and in turn, they will show signs of physiological changes that will align with what the mother feels. So be careful with your emotions during pregnancy.

What happens to the baby when the mother cries?

Generally, nothing happens to the baby when the mother is crying. However, a baby can feel the mother’s emotions, and they may respond by showing signs of physiological changes that will correspond to the emotion that the mother is feeling. It is not something to worry about since mood swings are normal during pregnancy. However, too much of it, leading to depression, can affect the baby’s development for both body and mind. 

Can I take anxiety medication while pregnant?

As with antidepressants, anxiety medication can be taken during pregnancy, but of course, there will be risks involved. Make sure that you consult with both a therapist and an OB-gyn to make sure that nothing wrong happens to both the mother and the baby. This medication can cause congenital disabilities, and it can cause your baby’s development to slow down. Be wise about your decisions when taking medicines as it will affect not only you but also your baby.

Can antidepressants cause miscarriage?

A study in Denmark with a sample size of one million women where 20 thousand had taken antidepressants had found that women who take antidepressants early in the pregnancy have the same risk of miscarriage as those women who had stopped taking the medication before they got pregnant, which means that like alcohol and other vices or addictions, antidepressants can also cause an increase in risk for a miscarriage. Consult a doctor to make sure that you do not experience the unfortunate events of a miscarriage.

Can I get pregnant if my husband is on antidepressants?

Yes, you are still able to get pregnant even if your husband is taking antidepressants. Still, it may be advisable to make a few changes to your husband’s medication to increase the ability to conceive a child. Although there are ways that you can do to improve the ability to conceive without having to change anything with medications, it is still important that you seek the proper medical advice that you will need before going on this journey.

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Can an unborn baby feel the mother’s pain?

The baby does feel what the mother feels, from happiness to sadness to stress and depression. So the mother must be in her best physical and mental state to avoid harming the baby and its developments, especially for their body and mind. Accidents may happen, so make sure that you seek medical attention no matter how minor the incident.

What are some ominous signs during pregnancy?

Of course, vaginal bleeding is a big red flag during pregnancy. There are also fevers of 100 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, fewer movements with the baby, seizures, vomiting, contractions of more than four times in an hour, and problems with your vision. No matter how minor the change or experience, consult your doctor. It may save your baby’s life.

Final Thoughts

My family and friends finally found out about my pregnancy when I experienced spotting and needed to write a contact person once I got admitted to the hospital. It came as an absolute shock to my parents, especially when they found out why my boyfriend was no longer in the picture, but they supported my decision to keep him out for good. When my boss allowed me to get early maternity leave, I moved back to my parents’ home, where I began to heal emotionally, physically, and mentally. By the time my baby arrived, I was already more than ready to become a mother.