Mental illness in Pregnancy: All About Mental health in Pregnancy

Mental illness in Pregnancy

A mental disorder is a severe mood disorder that can affect a Person mentally and Physically for weeks or months. This Problem also appears to affect the victim’s routine.

At the same time, this Problem can also be seen during Pregnancy. In this woman becomes depressed, anxious, and frustrated or feels guilt for some reason or no reason.

Depression in Pregnancy can occur for various reasons, and Depression is not expected during Pregnancy in a woman.

Mental disorders during Pregnancy and the postnatal period can have severe consequences for the health and well-being of a mother and her baby and her partner and other family members.  

During their childbearing years. 

Pregnant Woman may have other  mental health issues Let’s see…

Before we get started, you should also read the following guides to help you learn:

mental health in pregnancy
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Table of Contents

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Major Depression

Pregnancy doesn’t prevent or Protect mothers from a Depressive illness.

Rates of Depression in Pregnancy are Similar to non Pregnant women of the same age.

Symptoms of Major Depression 

  • Mood swing
  • Daily Negative thoughts and fear or Guilty
  • Tiredness

Risk Factors For Major Depression :

  • Marital dissatisfaction 
  • Inadequate psychological support 
  • Low socioeconomic status
  • Unwanted Pregnancy

Read: What Is Teenage Pregnancy? | Teenage Pregnancy Prevention

Risk of Untreated Depression in Mother 

  • Risk of self-injurious or suicidal behavior 
  • Inadequate self-care Decreased appetite
  • Women with Depression may sometimes use either alcohol or illicit drug, which further increases the risk to the fetus 
  • Maternal Depression may adversely affect the developing fetus


Specific concern :

  • Psychotropic medications readily cross the placenta. Therefore following factors must be considered before starting psychotropic medications :
  • Teratogenesis
  • Toxicity to the neonate 
  • Risk of medication discontinuation 
  • Risk of no treatment

Psychotherapy : (Interpersonal therapy )

  • This therapy helps communicate better with others and address a problem that contributes to your Depression.  
  • It consists of 12 to 16 hour weekly sessions.

Antidepressant Treatment :  

  • This is indicated for women whose symptoms interfere with maternal well-being and functioning.  
  • During Pregnancy, fluoxetine is the first line antidepressant choice 
  • Other Drugs: Nortriptyline Desipramine

I have already Covered :


Bipolar Disorder

It can happen during pregnancy and the postpartum period. 

Read this article: How To Treat Postpartum Depression

Its key features are the presence of mood episodes – Depression and mania or hypomania. 

It is important to assess hypomania or mania’s history when determining diagnosis in any women presenting with psychological symptoms.

Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder 

Low Energy, thinking, and behavior problem
High and low moods and changes sleeping
Uncomfortable Crying


  • Lithium should be considered first though it carries the risk of cardiac anomalies. 
  • Anticonvulsants may be used sometimes. 
  • Neurobehavioral teratogenicity and neonatal toxicity are also possible, so careful treatment management is necessary to reduce risks to the fetus.

Anxiety Disorder

Anxiety Disorder is common in pregnancy. 

Hormonal changes during pregnancy can lead to chemicals imbalance it can cause anxiety. 

Childbirth is an extreme traumatic stressor that can result in post-traumatic stress disorder.

 Symptoms of  Anxiety Disorder

  • Nervousness
  • Increased heavy and Sweating
  • increased irritability



  • Cognitive behavior therapy is found to be effective for panic disorder and OCD


  • A slow taper of antipanic medications over two weeks may be possible in mild cases of panic disorder. 
  • In severe panic disorder: fluoxetine or tricyclic antidepressant 
  • Inpatient who don’t respond to their antidepressants, benzodiazepine may be considered.

Psychotic Disorder

Women with psychotic disorders are at increased risk of obstetric and psychiatric complications. 

There is a high risk of postpartum relapse. 

It is known that the potential episode may be severe and lead to the mother attempting suicide or infanticide.

Symptoms of Psychotic Disorder:

  • Loss of interest in personal hygiene
  • Confused thinking


 Neuroleptics should be considered as psychosis can be an obstetric and medical emergency.

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