What Is Prenatal Depression and How Is It Treated?

By Kerry Weiss
Reviewed by Jessie Everts, Ph.D.
April 07, 2023

Pregnancy can bring a flood of emotions—one minute, you may feel excited to meet your newborn, and the next you may feel overwhelmed about parenthood. These types of mood swings are to be expected. But if you start to feel overcome by more negative or unsettling thoughts, it could be a sign of prenatal depression, or depression during pregnancy.

Here’s what you should know about prenatal depression causes, risk factors, and signs, as well as ways to feel better.

What Causes Depression During Pregnancy?

While many people have heard of postpartum depression, which can occur after the baby arrives, depression is also thought to affect about 7% of expectant parents during pregnancy.