Depression and Pregnancy

People often think of pregnancy as a special time when women feel biologically complete and insulated from the sadness in the surrounding world. And it is special…

The truth is, though, that the rates of depression in pregnant and non-pregnant women are very similar. Many women have gone through difficult times while pregnant, shed many tears, and had healthy, wonderful babies at the end.

Still, ongoing full-blown depression can sometimes affect a developing baby, both directly and through inadequate nutrition. The risks are small, but real. Thankfully, there are safe treatments for pregnant women. Whether you need treatment or not, the outlook for your baby is good.

When there are major emotional storms during pregnancy, it is wise to stay in close touch with both an obstetrician and a psychiatrist. You deserve their support and their help in navigating this journey.

You and your little baby are so closely linked. You do shield your baby from most of what happens outside. You surround your baby with love and with the perfect hug. And your baby hugs you, inside, where you need it the most.

Life is bittersweet. But you face it together.

Alan Greene, MD is a practicing pediatrician and a leading voice in children's health and the environment. He is a graduate of Princeton University and the University of California at San Francisco. In 1995 he launched DrGreene.com, cited by the AMA as "the pioneer" physician Web site and was named "The Children's Health Hero of the Internet" by Intel. He was given the Healthy Child Award for Prevention for founding the WhiteOut campaign to change the way children are fed starting with their very first bite of solid food. Dr. Greene is the author of several books, including Raising Baby Green and Feeding Baby Green and he appears frequently in the media including such venues as the TODAY Show, the Dr. Oz Show, Good Morning America & The New York Times.

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