Parenting Stories

What Prenatal Depression REALLY Is

woman holding pregnant belly

Pregnancy is crazy. It’s crazy on so many different levels. It’s crazy that your body is making another body. It’s crazy how much work goes into just getting out of bed and managing your new shape. It’s crazy how you can feel completely full AND hungry at the same time!

Pregnancy is filled with so many hopes for your baby and it’s also filled with an intense desire to be recognizable again.

Something that you may also experience while pregnant is anxiety and depression.

What?! It’s true and it’s ok. It’s ok to feel sad about your current reality changing forever. It’s ok to feel weird about your changing body. It’s ok to feel anxiety about all the unknowns. It’s ok to be excited to hold your baby and also depressed about all the things that will no longer be as easy as it was.

Even if you are someone that desperately wanted to get pregnant, you may have moments of mourning an era that’s coming to an end. That doesn’t make you ungrateful and it’s not a sign that you’ll be a “bad” mother.

Here’s the thing about pregnancy and postpartum: it’s a complete and total mind f*ck. I know that’s not a nice word but there is no nice way to put it. You may experience intense feelings and thoughts so opposite of each other multiple times a day. You will have to wrap your mind around your changing body and the weird stuff it’s doing to prepare for labor all while being kicked in the bladder. Couple all of that with weird expectations and confusing parenting advice from every person you meet and your mind is fried by 3PM.

My advice to you is to grab ahold of another trusted woman and share what you’re going through.

Share your anxieties. Share your sadness. Share your joy. Do things that help keep you connected to your pre-pregnancy self.

For me, running has always been a place of peace, strength, and confidence. It’s been where I can connect to my mind and body. It got harder while pregnant but every time I ran for even 10 minutes, I felt renewed and reminded of who I was. Keeping up with the thing that makes you feel at peace or confident is crucial. Staying connected with a group of women you can be vulnerable with is going to bring you relief.

If you are pregnant and starting to feel depressed, you are normal and not alone.

So many women feel some level of sadness while pregnant. However, there is a point of feeling too low. Prenatal depression affects 14-23% of women. If you’re feeling an extreme amount of depression or anxiety, PLEASE talk to your doctor about your prenatal depression. What you’re feeling isn’t uncommon but getting extra support is so important.

Never forget that your body and your mind were yours first.

Prioritizing your health will only bring good things for you and baby.

Featured Image Credit: TONL

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