Depression in pregnancy

It’s natural to feel emotional when you’re pregnant. But if you're feeling sad more than you're feeling happy you may have antenatal depression.

What is antenatal depression?

Antenatal depression is when you feel sad all the time for weeks or months during your pregnancy. The condition can vary from mild to severe and can affect women in different ways.

Some women have depression after having a baby. This is called postnatal depression

Pregnancy can be a very emotional experience and it can sometimes be difficult to know whether your feelings are manageable or a sign of something more serious. Pregnancy hormones can affect your emotions, you may also have difficulty sleeping and you may be feeling sick. This can all make you feel low.

Trust yourself. You are the best judge of whether your feelings are normal for you. Talk to your midwife or GP if you think you have any symptoms of depression and they last for more than two weeks.

Depression is a mental health condition and not a sign of weakness, something that will go away on its own or that you should just ‘snap out of. Depression can be treated with the right care and support.

What are the symptoms of antenatal depression?

"Pregnancy is meant to be such a happy time but because we don’t talk about mental health in pregnancy women don’t know that it can be a very different story."

Abby, mum of one. Read more...

Typical signs of depression include if you:

  • feel generally down most of the time
  • can’t be bothered with things
  • can’t concentrate or make decisions
  • don’t enjoy life
  • feel tearful
  • feel irritable and don’t want to be with other people
  • feel restless and agitated
  • lose your self-confidence
  • feel worthless
  • feel guilty
  • think about harming yourself or suicide.

You may not have all these symptoms and they may come on gradually or you may suddenly start to feel very low.

If you feel like you want to harm yourself or feel like you want to die, it’s important to tell someone. This could be a family member, friend, your GP or midwife. Help is available now if you need it. You can call the Samaritans on 116 123.

"I wasn’t sleeping well and I’d wake up with that horrible feeling of doom starting every day. I’d cry at the drop of a hat about things that wouldn’t normally make me cry." 

Stephanie, mum of two. Read more...

How common is it?

Depression in pregnancy is very common. Around one in every ten pregnant women has antenatal depression.[1]

“I just started feeling snappy, not my usual self at all – I shrugged it off at first and thought it was just my hormones playing up. However, it started to get worse. I knew I really wanted the baby, but I didn’t feel like I wanted it." 

Clare, mum of one

What causes depression?

You may be more likely to get antenatal depression if you:

  • have had depression before
  • have anxiety
  • are going through a very difficult life event, such as a bereavement or divorce
  • don’t have support from family or friends
  • are having an unplanned pregnancy
  • have experienced domestic abuse or violence.

But anyone can get depression in pregnancy, even if they have no experience of anything in this list. It can happen out of the blue and affects women from all walks of life. You are not alone. 

What should I do?

Tell your midwife or doctor how you feel.  Some women feel very distressed or guilty at feeling low at a time when everyone expects them to be happy. Remember that healthcare professionals won’t judge you. They understand that depression is a mental health condition. It is not your fault, or something that you just need to ‘get over’ or move on from. They will focus on helping you find the right treatment and support so you can take care of yourself and your baby.  

If you find it difficult to talk about your thoughts and feelings, you could write down what you want to say first, or you may want to have someone with you. The important thing is to let someone know so that you can get the right help as soon as possible. 

It’s important to tell the midwife or doctor if you have had depression in the past because you may be more likely to get depression in this pregnancy or after you give birth. They can then give you the best support to reduce the chances of you getting depression again.  

"I felt very tired, every time I sat down I’d just doze off to sleep. I never seemed to feel that glowing period that everybody talks about."

Emily, mum of three. Read more...

What is the treatment for depression?

Treatment for depression usually involves a combination of self-help, talking therapies (such as counselling or cognitive behavioural therapy and medicines.

Everyone is different, so treatments that may work for some people may not work for others. Your doctor will help you decide what’s best for you. You will probably also be referred to a perinatal mental health specialist and will be monitored more closely during and after your pregnancy.

The treatment you have will be your decision. Your healthcare professional can help you by talking to you about what you’d like to do and explaining the risks and benefits of all options.

They will also talk to you about:

  • what’s best for your stage of pregnancy
  • any risks medication may pose to your baby
  • the risk that you might become unwell again without medication
  • how bad your symptoms are
  • whether you have had the condition before
  • how well the medication has worked for you so far, if you are already taking it.

If the recommended treatment is antidepressants, your doctor will discuss the risks of the treatment to your baby, including:

  • what is known about their safety during pregnancy
  • whether the baby may have some mild symptoms when born and whether breastfeeding may reduce the possibility of these occurring.

If you would like to stop medication when you are pregnant, but medication is the best treatment for your depression, your doctor should talk to you about your reasons for wanting to stop medication and about the risks, if any, to you and your baby.

If you understand the risks to you and your baby and still decide to stop medication, your doctor should talk to you about other ways to manage your symptoms. For example, they may suggest talking therapies.

How can I help myself?

Depression can make you want to hide away from the world and you may feel like you don’t want to do anything. But it is important to make sure you take care of yourself. Start with little activities, take things at your own pace and most importantly, ask for help if you need it. Here are a few ideas for what you can do. 

  • Talk to someone you trust about your feelings, such as your partner, family or a friend.
  • Try not to feel guilty, ashamed or embarrassed. These feelings are not your fault.
  • Try some of our top tips for looking after your emotional wellbeing.
  • Exercise  as much as you can. Keeping active will release some feel-good endorphins.
  • Eat well even if you don’t have much appetite.
  • Avoid alcohol  and smoking. This can harm your baby and make you feel worse.
  • Don’t take St John’s Wort (although it can help with depression when you aren’t pregnant, we do not know if it is safe for pregnancy).
  • Read about planning for emotional changes after birth.

Use the Tommy's Wellbeing Plan to think about how much support you will have.

Read more

Sources

Clinical Knowledge Summaries (2015) Depression antenatal and postnatal https://cks.nice.org.uk/depression-antenatal-and-postnatal#!topicsummary

NHS Choices Clinical Depression https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/clinical-depression/treatment/ (Page last reviewed: 05/10/2016. Next review due: 05/10/2019)

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Last reviewed on October 19th, 2018. Next review date October 19th, 2021.

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Comments

  • By santanu majumder (not verified) on 14 Mar 2019 - 19:11

    Very helpful article. I am a pharmacist from India. I saw many patients during pregnancy.
    Nice informative article.

  • By Sophie Davis (not verified) on 14 Mar 2019 - 15:17

    I've just turned 14 weeks pregnant, and I have been feeling like I've hit a brick wall in my job. Even before I was pregnant my job would ask to much of me, but I was happy to do it because I'm always happy to help. However, the job now is making me wake up in tears really not wanting to go because I feel like I'm under so much pressure to perform the way I used to prior to pregnancy. We are very short staffed and I don't think I can keep up with the job load any more. I still have a few months before I can go on maternity but I'm really not sure how much longer my body and my mental state can cope. But at the same time, I can't afford to leave because I need to keep making money for my child. I'm feeling so stuck and lost right now. What should I do? I don't want to stay in a place that stresses me out and makes me feel so down, but I also feel like I have to stay in order to keep a roof over my head and survive. Please help.

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 20 Mar 2019 - 10:37

    Hi Sophie
    It sounds like you desperately need to talk to your line manager or HR manager. They need to help to support you as work is clearly making you feel unwell both whilst in work as well as in your own time. They need to find a way to ensure that you can take some time out if you are feeling things are getting too much. Pregnancy can be a difficult time but your place of work are responsible for helping you in work related stress and anxiety. You can also visit your GP, who could potentially sign you off work for a couple of weeks so that you have some time to reflect and decide what plan of action you and your place of work can come to. Please also look at our pages on work in pregnancy here - https://www.tommys.org/pregnancy-information/im-pregnant/pregnancy-and-work
    Please feel free to get in touch with us via email if we can be of any further support.
    Tommy's Midwife

  • By Shabeena khan (not verified) on 26 Feb 2019 - 06:38

    Lots of fun and easy to understand.. makes the worry of anticipation go away because you know what to expect before it happens.. and where to look if u have questions. Overall every part and section is superb of this website.

  • By Lonely (not verified) on 20 Feb 2019 - 15:44

    All of my family and friends live in the UK. I moved to Canada for my partner in 2016; we got married last year and I'm now nearly 19 weeks pregnant. I love my husband very much and he is wonderful and supportive, but he just started working in a different city from where we live. I have no friends in the city where we live despite being here for over two years. I also work in the medical profession, but am starting to resent the differences between working in the UK versus Canada, and this is making me irritated and apathetic lately at work. Before the baby comes I need to learn how to drive in Canada, pass a big exam in May for my profession and also move house to the city where my husband now works. I just feel overwhelmed and have no friends to hang out with or whinge to. I'm not even sure that trying to find other Mum's-to-be in antenatal classes will be helpful, as we're going to need to move in the next few months anyway.

  • By Vic Graham (not verified) on 9 Mar 2019 - 18:47

    So sorry you are feeling this way but you really are not alone with these feelings. It is very hard being away from family and friends and places you know and love especially when you are going through pregnancy and you are all over the place emotionally. I am 20 weeks and I felt lonely all the time as my hubby also works away. A good idea is to join the Antenatal classes or a pregnancy yoga class or some other mum to be type of thing and meet other ladies that although may not be in the same position as you emotionally, they will be going through pregnancy and will know about that side of it and tell you their worries and woes and hearing/sharing some of this will help you. It doesn’t matter that you might move away, what matters is how you can help yourself to feel better now. You have a lot coming up which is adding to stress and you need to try and take one thing at a time and not let it take over. Easier said than done I know!
    I really hope you reach out and join something just to get out and meet a few people for the meantime. You should also speak to your husband and tell him you are feeling down. Is there any way a family member could come and visit for a little while? I hope it all works out well, I am sure it will. One thing we can be certain of is that when the babies arrive there will be plenty of other things to concentrate on!!
    Good luck with it all.

  • By Anonymous (not verified) on 19 Feb 2019 - 01:37

    I’m 26wks pregnant with my first bubba. It was a surprise but my love and I are super excited about it. It’s a transition, but it’s exciting. We have been together since 14yrs old, ten years we have been so close with all the roller coaster adventures and experiences of growing up in an intense relationship. . Lately I’ve been feeling really down and not good enough for him. Like he is better off with someone else, that I’m lazy and not fun or social or interesting. Ive been unmotivated and tired and feel like I just laze around and not do much.. he gives me love and support and is someone I can always rely on and talk to about all of this.. but I think I’m going crazy because I just really think he is hiding stuff from me, his true thoughts. That he doesn’t really love me anymore, he would rather be with other women. I think he has more fun with other people, especially when I’m not there. That he connects with other women more, on a sexual level as well.. I’m struggling a little with my body image just because I’ve never been so big. When people tell me I’m glowing or look healthy (which people even fandoms often do) I dismiss it and don’t believe them. I don’t know if it’s hormones or am I falling down the rabbit hole? I’ve been depressed before (19-21yrs) and so understand that thoughts can be so dangerous. And I try to not let these control me but it’s getting harder to suppress and pretend I’m okay. . I just want to know if this is normal? Or am I in trouble? Am
    I just being crazy? Or .. maybe.. am I seeing things clearly and picking up on these vibes that my partner is not feeling the same way... will these feelings go away soon?

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 21 Feb 2019 - 13:52

    Hi, Thank you for your comment.

    It sounds like you are struggling a little with intrusive thoughts and this is effecting your mood and judgement within your relationship. It can be very normal to go through many emotions during pregnancy, but it is also important to recognise when you feel like you are not managing as much as you did and you may have reached this point. You need to be proud of yourself for speaking up and reaching out for help and advice, this is the first step. It can be very common for women to experience mental health issues in pregnancy if you have had depression in the past so please don't be hard on yourself, feel reassured that help and support is there and this will get better. We would recommend that you speak to your midwife or GP about how you are feeling as soon as you can, they will be able to advice you on what support is available to you and may even refer you to the specialist mental health midwife at the hospital if this service is available. They are there as another source of support and reassurance at this time. Try and speak to your partner or a family member, someone you trust about how you are feeling, this will help you to have support close to you. You can always call the Tommy's Midwives on 0800 0147 800 Monday to Friday 9am - 5pm if you want to talk about anything and we are hear to listen and give you support. Hope this helps, Take Care, Tommy's Midwives xx

  • By Anonoymous (not verified) on 1 Feb 2019 - 18:23

    I'm currently 21 weeks pregnant with my second child, I already have a 4 year old son. I'm really struggling with any motivation to do anything, I suffer with restless legs which has become worse during pregnancy, my legs also feel itchy alot of the time and it's driving my insane. I'm awake every couple of hours during the night, occasionally for more than an hour at a time. I'm constantly tired and feel like crying . I don't feel like doing anything yet I'm so bored "relaxing" at home. I just feel rubbish all the time. I have no energy and it's starting to really get to me now . I feel like there's ages to go yet as well but I can't wait to have this baby.

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 14 Feb 2019 - 14:15

    Hi, Thank you for your comment.

    Sorry to hear that you have been feeling so low lately, it can be common that pregnancy can cause you to feel all sorts of emotions but what is positive is that you have recognised that your mood isn't improving and you are seeking help. You don't say that you have any history of mental health issues in the past but it would be advisable that you speak to your midwife or GP about how you are feeling. They will be able to give you further support and advice on what is available so that you can start to manage and talk about these feelings. Speaking up and getting support is the best thing in pregnancy because the support is there is you need it. Hope this helps, take care, Tommy's Midwives x

  • By Emma (not verified) on 26 Jan 2019 - 11:53

    I am really struggling with my second pregnancy. Have had sickness the whole time and being self employed cannot take time off for it - work 7 days a week. My 3 year old is noticing I can’t play with him like I used to and I feel so guilty that I can’t even walk the dogs without throwing up the whole way. The last month I’ve almost given up looking after myself, not to mention the house. I don’t care about my appearance, hygiene, socialising, my work And don’t seem to be able to enjoy things. My husband has been supportive but I can’t explain how I’m feeling, “it’s just the hormones”. I’m nearly 14 weeks and nausea/sickness is just getting worse. I have never thought of harming myself and I am so happy to be having this baby but am struggling to just get through each day. I struggle with my anxiety which seems to be made worse with everything. I just want to feel something of myself again and maybe even manage a smile for the customers at least.

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 29 Jan 2019 - 15:09

    Hi Emma. it sounds like you need to get your GP for review as soon as you can. They might be able to give you some anti - sickness medication - as this has gone on for so long now for you. Whilst at your GP, you can also tell them about how you have been feeling very low (which is not surprising since you have been feeling so unwell, for so many weeks now) and to see if you would benefit from a referral to see the midwife specialising in mental health. You can also let your own midwife know about how you have been feeling, she can offer to see you more often during this pregnancy.
    If you wish to have a friendly chat anytime, we are here Mon to Fri on the helpline and would be very happy to chat with you. Sending all the best, Tommy's Midwife

  • By Anonymous (not verified) on 26 Jan 2019 - 11:09

    My partners sister hasn't taken the news of us expecting very well and avoids talking about it. It's the elephant in the room and we feel we can't talk about it in front of her, everyone avoids the subject when she's there.... It's making me feel down and upset all the time. I don't feel excited I feel bad and guilty but I'm also angry at her for making me feel this way. Everyone tells me to continue as normal but it's easier said than done... And they don't even talk about it!

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 29 Jan 2019 - 13:51

    Hi there. Might it be possible to sit down with her privately and talk to her about the "Elephant in the room". She may not be aware of how she is making you feel, which I am sure would not be her intent. She may have had a difficult experience in trying to conceive or have had a miscarriage - it might be worth reaching out to her and asking her if she is doing ok as you are worried about her. You might find, that by you addressing her concerns, she then processes your news and makes it less difficult for you in turn. Which would be of benefit to everyone by the sound of it. If you need to talk about your own mental health, please feel free to get in touch with us via our helpline or email. We would be happy to hear from you. All the best, Tommy's Midwife

  • By Anonymous (not verified) on 17 Jan 2019 - 19:50

    So I'm 12 weeks pregnant and have no energy to do anything what so ever. I've tryed foods with energy boosting substances however it's not working. I already have a 3 year old and am struggling to gain enough energy to play with her for long periods of time. I also feel very emotional and most nights will sit in bed crying, I feel so lonely at these times even though my husband is laying next to me. I've spoke to my husband about my feelings however he's a typical lads lad and I don't feel as though he truly understands, however he does support me as much as he can. What can I do to gain more energy and motivation also reduce the emotional times?

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 18 Jan 2019 - 13:38

    Hi,
    I am sorry to hear that you are feeling unwell and having a difficult time at the moment. It sounds like it would be helpful, if you haven't already, is to get the results of your booking bloods to check your iron levels to make sure that they are not low. Otherwise it sounds like you need a little support with your emotional well being, it may be helpful to speak with your GP or midwife about how you are feeling. They will be able to talk further about how you are feeling and make a supportive care plan to help you through this pregnancy.
    If you would like to talk further then please do be in touch, [email protected]
    Best wishes
    Tommy's midwife

  • By Taylor (not verified) on 21 Dec 2018 - 02:14

    I just found out i was pregnant about a week and a half ago from a home pregnancy test. I had arranged for an abortion because, my fiance is currently the only one working, we have two girls (6) & (4) already and i was so overwhelmed when i found out, I wasnt happy about it, I wasnt excited at all either. Just the feeling of overwhelming worry came over me and i havent been able to shake it at all. Were already struggling to get by, and before finding this out i was worried all the time so stress, and anxiety are nothing new to me. this feeling though is much stronger i feel so low, sad and competely worthless i never felt this bad with my previous pregnancies and it scares me. I even obtained a new job today that will really help us out but im still feeling so depressed, worried, sad and scared not knowing what i should do. Part of me doesnt want another baby and another part of me knows i can do it i guess. Idk what to do i feel so lost and sad and scared

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 3 Jan 2019 - 12:06

    Hi Taylor,
    I am so sorry to hear how you are feeling and what you are going through at the moment. It sounds like such a difficult time for you, and a decision that is not to be rushed, it is important to take the time to decide what is right for you and your family. It may help to have some counselling or someone to talk to about your situation, you could see your GP or there may be an organisation local to you who you can make an appointment with. If you would like some help with this then please do email us [email protected]
    Take care
    Tommy's midwife

  • By Sophie (not verified) on 24 Nov 2018 - 13:01

    I am due my second baby in 3 weeks and my daughter is 21 months old. She has always been quite a demanding toddler but has got exceptionally worse at the moment. Shes not sleeping well anymore and i am barely getting any sleep. I feel as though i have been down for a long time now. Im not excited about the arrival of the new baby, I don't enjoy anyone's company or a lot of things I used to enjoy before i had children. I feel a lot of this is down to my anticipation of my daughters behaviour and mood is making me too anxious to do anything with her. I just feel utterly miserable and i know this cant be helping my toddlers mood either- I constantly feel like i'm not a good enough parent.

    I know i should contact my gp and midwife- have contacted my gp before when i lost my 1st pregnancy and I found there was little support and the councillor didnt help at all. Theres no way im going to get any help before the baby arrives through the nhs and i dont see how i'll be able to manage with a newborn on top of this. I just feel lost.

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 26 Nov 2018 - 14:31

    Hi Sophie, Why don't you give us a call here at Tommy's 0800 0147 800. This is actually quite common and you are not alone. Many toddlers of this age become increasingly demanding as the birth becomes more imminent. They want and need more and more attention and many get difficult or angry with mum. Please be reassured this behaviour is normal and unlikely to be conveyed towards the baby, interestingly some toddlers actually become quite protective of their baby.
    It takes a community to bring up a child and no one can do it on their own. To verbalise how you are feeling shows that you are a normal mother and easily a good enough parent.
    Firstly, I would try to find some family or friend support just to give you a break and a chance to catch up on much needed sleep before and after the birth. Also try to find some story books about 'having a new baby' and get your toddler a doll to nurture (Let her play at being a mummy).
    Also if she goes to nursery or play group, talk to other mums about play dates as this local networking can be invaluable for your sanity. You may disagree, but I don't think it is counselling that you need, it is practical day to day support. Your health visitor will contact you very soon and is the best person to talk to about these issues. They should know about the local area and be able to introduce you to others in the same situation.
    I wish you all the best and please don't forget that we are also here to support you through the next few weeks. With best wishes from Tommy's midwives x

  • By Brigitta (not verified) on 23 Jan 2019 - 16:54

    Hi Sophie,
    I found the nhs counselling was totally useless too after losing my baby. If you are still feeling depressed (I realise you wrote in November), I would advise you to go to cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) instead. In my experience that can make a real difference.
    Take care!

  • By Becky (not verified) on 8 Nov 2018 - 16:16

    I just want some advice really it's nothing major but I'm 26 weeks pregnant now with my second baby and I feel like I'm much more emotional with this one than I was with my first. I'll go weeks of feeling OK and then get a few days to a week where I cry at everything, I can't be bothered to do anything and find myself snapping at people for no reason including my 5 year old daughter and then crying about it after because I know it's me not them. I can't seem to snap out of it and I'm scared I'm going to just get worse and never be happy especially when this baby is born

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 12 Nov 2018 - 12:29

    Hi Becky
    Well done for noticing this in yourself and asking for advice and support. What a wonderful woman and mummy you are!
    The best people to help you in this pregnancy with your low mood, (it's a team effort), is your Midwife and your GP. Make an apt to see them both for as soon as possible to discuss how you have been feeling and they will be able to support you via more appointments in pregnancy, referral to other local support services if you want them (like counselling services or referral to the perinatal mental health team who specialise in pregnant mothers with low mood/anxiety/depression/ptsd etc) They will help you to get back to feeling ore yourself again very soon
    You are also always welcome to email ([email protected]'s.org) or call us on the pregnancyline directly if you need a friendly chat or advice.
    All the best, Tommy's Midwife

  • By Anonymous (not verified) on 24 Jul 2018 - 15:58

    I’ve just found out am pregnant am about 6 weeks gone it’s a really big shock as I only had a baby in March. My head is all over the place and I don’t know what to do it’s making me feel really down i can’t stop thinking about it got alsorts going through me head

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 27 Jul 2018 - 11:37

    Hi,
    I am sorry to hear that you are experiencing such a difficult situation. Do you have anyone that you can talk you about this? If you would like to talk then do be in touch, you can call us (0800 0417 800) or email us [email protected] We are here to support you, and talk through your feelings and about this pregnancy.
    Best wishes
    Tommy's midwife

  • By Anonymous (not verified) on 8 Jul 2018 - 23:48

    It seems no matter how many times you read ‘there’s help out there for you’ it doesn’t get any easier. I’m already on anti-depressants and I’m low. So low, I can admit I day-dream of taking my life daily. And now I’m pregnant. It wasn’t planned. The father hates me. He’s been so nasty to me and put me down so much. I’ve ruined his life, he said because of me he will never find a relationship again because babies are baggage and me and him are damaged goods now.
    I just feel worse because I have another life to think of. I wanted to end things when I plucked up the courage before I found out I was pregnant and now I’m just full of guilt. I don’t know how I can be happy, I see no way out and I don’t know how I feel with this pregnancy. There’s isn’t 1 single thing on that check list that I don’t feel, tick the box for. I feel trapped. And I’m now fighting against more morals within myself. I don’t care what happens to me but it isn’t this child’s fault. A termination won’t fix my depression. I was this low before. It will only add more negative emotions to my already negative outlook. I’ve tried so hard to get better. Words of encouragement don’t help. I don’t know if I even want to get better anymore. I just want it to end. I need somebody to tell me my thoughts are justified and assure me it’s ok to make the decision I want to make without painting me to be a monster. People haven’t been able to change my mind. I secretly pray I’m just taken out of this world so I don’t have to make the decision for myself on this baby dilemma. It would fix so much. How do you love yourself after an abortion? Equally, How can you take your life with a life inside you.

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 12 Jul 2018 - 12:35

    Hi,
    I am so sorry hear how you are feeling and situation that you find yourself in. It is really concerning that you are having thoughts of taking your own life on a daily basis, it is important that you are getting as much support as possible. It is not the expectation of support that your depression will go away and your thoughts disappear completely, but we do need to make sure that you are safe. Can you speak with your midwife or doctor about how you are feeling? Are you having counselling or talking therapy as well as your antidepressants? If not they will be able to refer you for this. I do hope you are also being supported by a perinatal mental health midwife. If you are feeling suicidal you can also speak with the Samaritans (116 123). It sounds like your partner is also not being supportive of you, and his comments sound emotionally abusive and this is not normal comments for someone to be making to you. Again if you feel you can, do speak with your midwife who can support you with this and talk to you about your relationship and where to get help. Just because he has not been physically abusive does not mean this should be taken any less seriously. You can always speak with Women's aid their national domestic abuse support line for advice which is a 24hr 7 day a week service - 0808 2000 247 or have a look at their website: http://www.nationaldomesticviolencehelpline.org.uk/
    With regards to your thoughts about an abortion, this is a very personal decision. You do not mention how many weeks' pregnant you are however no one is here to make any judgements. It is absolutely your choice to think about what is right for you as this is your decision.
    Please do be in contact with us also, we are here Monday to Friday 9-5pm, you can call us on 0800 0147 800 or email us [email protected] We can be a listening ear, no judgements and completely confidential.
    I wish you all the very best, do take care.
    Tommy's midwife

  • By Stacey (not verified) on 4 Jun 2018 - 14:36

    I thonk i have depresdion, but not sure if im judt confusing it with pregnancy.
    Im 27 weeks pregnant with my 1st daughter. I have a 1 year old and a 19 year old boys. Since having my son last may iv not felt 'right', but not sure what feeling right is supposed to feel like if you get what i mean. I have my partner, but to be honest, he didnt really help much and throughout iv felt like a singke parent doing stuff on my own. Iv completly gone off of sex, i find it hard to relax and dont have time for myself. When we found out i was pregnant again i was happy, but part of me felt not happy as i knew i would have more to do now. We only have a 2 bed house, so im trying to help my older son out who has adhd to get a referral to get help, docs appts, back and forward. So much stress. Im very emotional and like im not getting help or support. I work weekends, but thats becoming to hard now.
    Iv had depression before, but it didnt feel like this. Im worried as i dont want to be worrying over nothing. I have appointment to see midwife in a couple of days. My docs are rubbish at appointments and never have any to book when i call, apart from 3 weeks down the line.

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 6 Jun 2018 - 13:57

    Hi Stacey
    It does sound like you are struggling with your mental health and well done for seeking advice and asking for help. That is so wonderful that you have felt able to do this.
    Please feel free to email us in future ([email protected] or call us on the pregnacyline 0800 0147800 Mon to Fri 9 am to 5pm) so that we discuss your needs in a more private way than on a public page.
    It sounds like you have a lot of things going on in your life at the moment and that can feel overwhelming. I know your GP may have a bit of a wait, but it is certainly worth making an appointment to discuss your needs and they will be able to refer you for help in your local area if this is how you wish to be assisted.
    In addition, please do tell your midwife how you are feeling and he/she will be able to make sure that you have more antenatal appointments and more supportive contact during your pregnancy and the postnatal period. He/she may also be able to book you in with a specialist team of midwives who specialize in anxiety and depression in pregnancy. There is a lot of help out there for you, and it is wonderful that you have identified your low mood as a problem for you! Well done!
    If you wish to call us and have a friendly chat then you are so welcome to!
    Looking forward to hearing from you again soon
    Sophie,Tommy's Midwife

  • By Anonymous (not verified) on 6 May 2018 - 12:00

    I'm struggling with my self image and it's impacting on every aspect of my life. I am over weight, I hate how I look. Every day I have to get dressed and every day I look in the mirror and hate myself. I also have rosacia so my fat face is also swollen and red all the time, frequently spotty. I am 6 weeks pregnant with a beautiful 2 year old boy who I adore, but I am just feeling so low. And when I feel low I eat rubbish, which makes things worse. This was a planned pregnancy, but now I am feeling rubbish because I can't try to lose weight because of the baby. I am just stuck. I hate myself which makes me not want to do anything, my house is a tip which stresses me out. My husband gets cross with me because I can put on a brave face with friends but then sit at home and cry. I feel pathetic.

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 10 May 2018 - 11:12

    Hi there. Thank you so much for contacting us. I really do think it would be of use to you to call us for a friendly chat on 0800 0147800, or if you feel that a face to face would be better, make an appointment with your GP/midwife to discuss your low mood in this pregnancy. Both your GP and your midwife can help to support you through this difficult time with more appointments and better tailored care for you, and if your BMI is a concern, then you can be referred to a dietitian for consultation and review during pregnancy so that they can support you in having a healthier diet in this pregnancy, which in turn, may help your low mood and self image as the pregnancy progresses.
    Well done for reaching out. If email is a better place for you to make further contact with us, you can reach us on [email protected]'s.org
    All the best and i hope to hear from you soon
    Sophie, Tommy's Midwife

  • By Anon (not verified) on 2 May 2018 - 22:11

    Im 6 months pregnant and had HG and shingles during pregnancy. Im sick and tired and sad and the world feels so heavy. Im afraid to talk to someone as i worry about what the repercussions could be. Once you openly talk to someone about a mental health issue thats all they see and its all you become. I dont want that to happen to me.

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 3 May 2018 - 14:41

    Hi, Thank you for your comment.

    We are sorry to hear that you have been feeling this way for a while now, you have made the first step in getting help and you should be congratulated for that as it takes a lot of courage. There is so much support available for women who are feeling low in pregnancy and it is important that you find the courage to ask.

    Please try not to worry about any repercussions, in the past there has been a stigma around mental health but now it is recognised as a treatable illness, but you do need to make your GP or midwife aware of how you are feeling. Pregnancy comes with its own worries and anxieties and there are many contributing factors that can increase these and cause low mood and as you say, it makes you feel tired, because is can become exhausting. You are not alone, there are people there to help you if you ask for it. It can be challenging having that initial conversation with a GP or midwife but we know that mental health issues can increase during and after pregnancy so it is important that you receive the right support and guidance so that you can start on your journey to feeling a little better. Please call you GP or midwife as soon as you can because they will listen and will want to help you. You can always contact us on [email protected] if you would like any additional support at this time. Hope that this has helped, Take Care, Tommy's Midwives x

  • By Zoe (not verified) on 31 Dec 2017 - 11:59



    My partner is worried that I have a hint of depression and asked me to speak to the midwife. Problem is I know I'm down sometimes and wanna cry but I just out down to hormones.
    I'm 16 weeks pregnant and 6 years ago I got pregnant at same time and I had to have a medical abortions as I miscarried and I didn't expel the babies as I should of....i lost them due to domestic abuse and that abuse carried on through my next pregnancy with my 5 year old. I nearly lost her twice due to him. He left and I met my fiance last year. We lost a baby in May 2017 and all i can think about is ones I lost and I wanna cry.
    Im struggling with this pregnancy now as all I can think is "what would they be like? If I had protected them i would of got this far 6 years ago? Is there really a baby in there now?!"
    My fiance is trying so hard to support me, work and help raise my 5 year old. He bought me a feral dipole to try put my ,and at rest but I just bring myself to use it because what if nothing is there?

    I'm meant to be enjoying this time but I'm struggling too. Please someone help......any advice?





    Thanks xx

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 4 Jan 2018 - 13:03

    Hi Zoe, Thank you for your comment.

    It sounds like this time of year is very difficult for you as well as pregnancy holding a lot of past memories. It would be advisable for you to speak to your GP or Midwife about getting some form of talking therapies so that you can work through these memories and even allow yourself to grieve for those losses.
    Your past pregnancy losses were not your fault, it was the circumstances that you were in and sometimes it is very difficult to get out of, if you are with a controlling and abusive partner.
    It sounds like you are with a supportive partner now and this must be a great comfort to you. But you do need another form of support so please don't be afraid to ask for it, the help is there and you can start on your journey to feeling a bit better, not to forget, but to learn the tools to manage the memories.
    We would advice against using a fetal Doppler as they are only to be used by a trained health professional. At 16 weeks, it may still be a challenge to hear a heart beat as baby is still small, but if you contact your midwife, she may be able to try and listen to the baby's heart beat for you.If you would like to speak to one of the Tommy's Midwives then please call us on 0800 0147 800 or email us on [email protected] Take Care, Tommy's Midwives x

  • By Stacey C (not verified) on 6 Dec 2017 - 02:57

    I'm currently 33+5. This will be my second child (1st one with my partner) He has suffered depression for years. He has been getting help but is still awaiting the treatment he needs (have been told he will go in 1 week after baby arrives). The last few weeks have been hell for me. I keep getting reduced movement and he shrugs it off. He has started to self harm again. I have being getting about two hours sleep if lucky. I am constantly crying over nothing and I feel as though I can not cope. I have always been the one everyone can rely on, friends, family and partner but lately I am not interested in helping anyone or seeing anyone. I have taken maternity leave so I don't even have that to distract me. I don't know if it is depression or if it is just because of my partners depression that I feel like this.
    Please help!

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 6 Dec 2017 - 09:30

    Hi Stacey, I think it would be a really good idea for you to call us and have a chat on 08000147800 so that we can properly talk through your needs and how we can suggest you might get some support and help!
    I think it is really important, if you have not already done so, to tell your midwife and GP how you are feeling and to also fill them in on your partners condition in order that they can better support you through this.
    I am not at all surprised that you are finding things hard, it really does sound like you've got such a lot on at the moment. And i think its really wonderful that you have recognised that you too are struggling and need some support! So please do call us! I am here all day today between 9-5pm. We only have the one phoneline, so if you cannot get through, please leave a voicemail and contact details and we will call you back as soon as we can. I look forward to our chin wag :) Take good care of yourself.
    Sophie, Tommy's Midwife

  • By Elaine (not verified) on 26 Nov 2017 - 10:28

    I talk to my daughter on tonight she nine months and her baby father told her he did not want another baby he just did that cause she want it he wasn't really trying he don't want to be with her no more he want her to bag up off him he ain't ready for no relationship she's crying so hard saying she's so hurt how could he do that to her she put her all an all into him she doesn't have any friends first baby he messing around with many women and I'm hurting because when my child love she love hard and she have lose everything job,car, and now she about to lose her apt she has loss a lot being with him an there relationship was all a lie and it hurt because I don't know what else to do beening her mother and her presure goes up the doctor all ready told her if her presure keep going up there going to have to do a c section and I don't want to see my child go through these changes I'm scare for even dou I pray for my child who can I turn to for help

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 28 Nov 2017 - 09:50

    Thank you for your comment
    I'm so sorry to hear what has happened to your daughter. It sounds like you are giving her lots of emotional support at this stage. Hopefully there are other family members and friends who can also help.
    I would advise that she contacts her midwife for extra support-there may be a specialist midwife team she can be referred to help with housing and other practical support if she needs this. She will be feeling very vulnerable ; it's also important to look after her psychological and emotional needs. I have attached a link that you both may find helpful-

    https://www.tommys.org/pregnancy-information/health-professionals/free-pregnancy-resources/wellbeing-plan

    Please also make sure that you look after yourself as well. Also, please do not hesitate to contact us on Tommy's PregnancyLine 0800 0147 800 for further advice
    Take care
    Tommy's midwife

  • By Anonymous (not verified) on 1 Oct 2017 - 20:40

    I was so depressed through my pregnancy, i really hate it,first sick and tired then enormous and in pain, nothing to enjoy at all, effected my going to the gym (lifting weights) then not being able to turn in bed or sleep, miserable but as soon as I had my son it was instant happiness, it lifted straight away. My partner couldn't believe the change in me and we both joke I don't get post natal depression I get prenatal not realising this is actually a thing! Until now. So just wanted to say your not alone if you hate pregnancy but once baby is here it will all be worth it ❤

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 2 Oct 2017 - 12:18

    Thank you for your comment. So glad you are enjoying motherhood x

  • By Abby (not verified) on 18 Apr 2017 - 20:45

    I gave up work after being bullied out of my job for being pregnant  (it was verbal so I can't prove anything and it was an independent business so no HR) and then I took over as the main carer for my partners mum (she's an alcoholic and had several falls resulting in 8 months of last year in hospital and surgery and is still in denial and anorexic to boot and now has epilepsy) I find it really hard because she either is chatty and happy and raring to go OR won't get out of bed or talk to anyone. She doesn't empty her dishwasher or clean up her dogs poo from the hallway or clean her bedding or take her medication. She says she doesnt need carers! But today was the last straw for me. I fell while walking the dog (Im monitoring movements and in a bit of discomfort) and then had to bathe her dog because it rolled in fox muck (its a terrier dog) and she just watched and didn't offer to help. I left the dogs collar off while she dried. Partner went over there to put the collar back on but it had a bit of muck on it and her reaction was to demand to know why I didn't do a thorough job and wash the collar! Apparently my partner told her off and said she had to use her initiative and do some things for herself which made her cry and say that she knows we wished her dead! My partner said he was so worried she was going to work herself up in having a seizure he had to appologise and calm her down! I said I'm finding it too hard to care for her anymore and I am so worried about what will happen when the baby comes. I can't rely on her for support and my own mother is distant (and a heavy smoker) with a new husband whose controlling and doesn't like me and my partner very much. I feel really alone and like I'm struggling. My other half tells me Im doing a great job but my friend is so supportive and thinks I should have more help. I don't know if I should say anything to my midwife (I have had so much trouble with my local service losing me in the system and forgetting about me) and I don't know what help my GP will be. I wasn't even sure if i could have this baby and loom after his mum but he convinced me otherwise and I feel like I'm loosing my mind! I do sleep but I always feel so tired! I do take time out for myself (spinning and walking) but I feel like a slave and relied on too much.
    Is it just me over reacting and needing to pull myself together?

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 19 Apr 2017 - 09:53

    Hi Abby. I am ever so sorry to hear how much you have going on in your life at the moment. It really does sound very tough and not at all like you are over-reacting. You most certainly do not need to just "get on with it" or "pull yourself together"!
    I sense that a one- to -one phone call would be the best option for you than a long worded, public message on this page here. Please would you call us on 0800 0147800 for a chat!!!
    We can go through each of your worries step by step then!
    I really look forward to hearing from you! Please take care of yourself!

  • By lisa (not verified) on 12 Dec 2016 - 09:06

    I dont know who to turn to im currently 16 weeks pregnant with a man ive adored since i met him five years ago . We were on off for a couple of years then two years ago we decided to make a go off things . Im 33 with three older children from previous relationship .. but my love off my life has been choosing coke binges all weekend which causes me untold amount off distress .. i have packed his stuff up lots since ive been pregnant but always get the same dribble i love u in sorry ive messed up wont do it again .. we had a chat when i found out i was pregnant if he wanted it he was over the moon and said he couldnt wait .. im confused upset and angry he is doing this to me after ive told him i cant do this on my own with three other children and a full time job the stress is unbearable ..i find my self goggling suicide or abortion .. ive lost everyone i cared about as ive cut myself off i just go to work come home sort the kids out and cry im exhausted ...and feel i cant do it anymore i dont know who to turn to

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 12 Dec 2016 - 12:22

    Hi Lisa
    I am so sorry to hear what a difficult time you are going through. I am unsure how best to help you via webpage message! It would probably be best for you to call and speak to one of us on 0800 0147800. There is a team of midwives here and we run the service Mon to Fir 9am to 5pm and we would be more than happy to talk to you about the problems you are having. We aren't trained counselors, but we are happy to have a friendly chat with you and try to suggest some ways that you could seek more help. I really feel for you and it really does sound like you need a friendly ear. So please call us (or Samaritans) for a chat!

    Here is some accurate information on Abortion for you to read too, to ensure that you are reading accurate information.http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Abortion/Pages/Introduction.aspx
    Samaritans can easily be contacted, to help you with your suicidal thoughts specifically- by phone or email - 116 123/[email protected]

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 16 Nov 2016 - 12:07

    Hello thank you for posting. I am so sorry that you are feeling so lonely and suicidal as you wait for the arrival of your second baby. It is so hard when a relationship breaks down and for you to experience this in pregnancy makes everything so much worse. I am really concerned that you feel all alone and have no one to support you. Please call the Samaritans today on 116 123 (free from UK) there is always someone there to speak to, to listen and to help 24 hours a day.
    I would also urge you to contact your GP today and confide in your midwife at your next antenatal appointment so that you can move forward from this lowest point. There is help and support out there for you and your family.
    Please know that as midwives we are also available to talk to 9-5 weekdays on 0800 0147 800.
    You are important and there is hope so please make the first call to the Samaritans now.
    Tommy's Midwives

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 15 Nov 2016 - 16:25

    This is the time you need support more than ever! Does your Community Midwife or GP know how you are feeling? You are not on your own & your midwife could be an excellent support at this time. If you are feeling suicidal, you should talk to someone today at PANDAS on 0843 2898401 or the Samaritans on 08457909090 (24 hours). If you feel you would rather talk to one of the Midwives here at Tommy's, there is a Midwife here every weekday from 9am till 5pm on 0800 0147 800. If the medication and Counselling did not work there are other treatments available so -please contact your GP for help too

  • By Anonymous (not verified) on 15 Nov 2016 - 14:41

    I been depressed since I was a teenager after problems at home then when I left school I met someone and we moved to quick moving in with each other and having a baby which I didn't want we had alot of problems after that and after 3 years trying we split then I met someone else and again rushed everything and git pregnant and again he's left me and I feel I'm at my lowest point I hav less than 3 weeks till I have the baby I have no partner no supportive friends and no support from family i took medication which hasn't worked I done counciling which isn't helping and now all I can think of is gettin this baby out and suicide I lost the will to do anythin not eating always cryin don't go out snapping at everyone I lost interest in life I'm not my usual self so everyone has noticed I don't laugh much or smile like I used to take everythin to offense just don't enjoy anything... I don't no what else to do I just want my bf back settle down and be a family but he's gave up and I'm all alone what can I do

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