Can PPD Come Before the Baby Is Born?

Updated on April 19, 2010
R.R. asks from Highland, IN
16 answers

I don't know for sure that I'm depressed, and maybe what I'm feeling in normal, but lately I feel so out of it, I'm starting to ask myself, Am I depressed? Or is this just how it feels the 2nd time around?? I'm 7.5 months pregnant but feel and look like I'm 9.

I am usually a pretty social person and have a lot of friend who live near me, but lately I haven't seen hardly any of them because I only feel like hibernating in my house with my toddler. If I do get out, I just go to Target or walk outside and let my son play in our own yard, and I don't really want to see or talk to anyone. I have to try really hard to get myself to get up and shower and put on decent clothes, do my hair, wear makeup, or get tasks outside of the house done. I have worked on a lot of things inside the house for the new baby like organizing her things, and moving furniture around in the nursery how I want it for her arrival. I sleep everyday when my son naps but I have a hard time getting dinner on the table for my husband (who is very supportive) so we go out a lot these days which makes me feel worse about myself. I just have no motivation and energy. I didn't feel like this when I was pregnant with my son (I was tired, but not the way I am now). Anyone felt this way? I haven't talked to any of my friends about this in detail. I don't want them to think I'm worse than I am and I don't want a bunch of visits either. Should I be worried about PPD or being depressed in general? I have never been diagnosed with depression before/did not have any symptoms of PPD the first time.

Thanks in advance.

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

Featured Answers



answers from Kansas City on

There are many forms of depression, ranging from mild to severe: PPD, dysthimia, depression, mood disorder, etc. I would see some kind of counselor or trained professional. If it is some form of depression (it could happen to anyone, at anytime, pregnant or not), you definitely want to treat it ASAP and not wait until baby gets here - in case it worsens with the impending hormone onslaught. Someone trained to deal with these issues can help you get better, but if you ignore these feelings hoping they will go away, it may backfire on you.

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers



answers from Minneapolis on

I just went through this! I know what you mean! I struggled with the first two trimesters with this baby. I was really sick, had NO energy or motivation and was just in the dumps! I finally said something to my husband and he went online looking for help. He found a few resources that said this was somewhat normal and also considered Prenatal Depression.

I told him all my dirty secrets about how I felt and that I was getting upset that my 2.5 year old daughter was suffering due to my lack of motivation. Not only did I feel quilty about not being excited about a VERY WANTED pregnancy, but I felt like a terrible mom to my daughter.

I'd always heard that the second pregnancy was much different, but I never understood how. There are no baby showers, you already have everything you need, and you have a toddler to worry about and take care of so you don't think about the baby constantly, like you did with the first.

It helped me to talk about it openly with my husband and close friends, ask my friends about their experiences and to talk to my doctor. She was willing to put me on Zoloft pretty easily. I didn't do that because my husband and I started making plans for the baby to get me in a better spirit. That helped a lot. My pregnancy also started going better...feeling less sick, etc. I still nap with my daughter daily and that helps keep me moving....very slow...but moving. I'm scheduled for my c-section NEXT Thursday (unless I go earlier!).

If you don't feel like cooking or cleaning...DON'T! And don't beat yourself up over it. I give you permission to let it go! ;) HUGS!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Yes, you can have PPD during pregnancy, it's called something else, I can't remember the name of it off the top of my head.

I was diagnosed with it. It was a slow progression. I had no idea what was happening to me. I just thought I was tired from the pregnancy. Also I had never been through clinical depression, so I just didn't know why I was reacting the way I was. It is actually just as common as PPD but rarely discussed.

You should definitely talk about it with your Obgyn. If your OB ignores it like mine did, they think your're just tired because of the pregnancy, don't wait, get help. See if you can see a therapist, or a psych. It doesn't mean that you do have it, you're just being careful.

Mine got so bad I finally had to be prescribed Zoloft during my pregnancy. I was so scared to take it even though the psych told me because of how bad the depression was it was worse for me not to take it. I could have miscarried, died, etc. I was very blessed and my little girl came happy, healthy and completely normal. She is 5 months old now and is very healthy.

I'm still on Zoloft, but I'm preparing to get off of it. It saved my life and my little ones life. I'm not addicted to it, that's not how it works. But it's just time for me to start lowering my dosage and become drug free again.

Since I got help the rest of my pregnancy went a lot better, and since it is fairly common for women who experience PPD like symptoms during their pregnancy to have severe PPD after giving birth, I didn't go through that because the Zoloft had already been working. I was not able to breastfeed which I wish I could have, but it was better that I was healing and being able to bond with my little girl.

Please get help, don't wait. You know yourself, and even though your're pregnant it doesn't mean that it's okay for you to be miserable to the point that you are shutting out the world. It just gets worse from there. If I had known sooner what I know now, I probably would have been able to prevent needing the Zoloft. There is help out there, doctors and great support groups. Even internet sites that can really help you feel like you're not alone.
I hope that helps. Take care of yourself =)

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Cleveland on

Hi R.,

It sounds like some sort of depression to me, and I also had symptoms before my second child waas born. I'd also had PPD afer my first. Of course you are more tired now, you have a toddler to care for, that is not surprising.

Please talk to your doctor about this, and hang in there.

K. Z.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Visalia on

This sounds like depression to me...Postpartum Depression can occur with pregnant women who have no history of depression, due to hormonal shifts ...I would encourage you to consult your OB-GYN or Family Nurse Practioner and ask them to administer the Edinburg Postpartum Depression Screen to you. This is a self-report form that can help you and your health professionals determine if this is PPD or any other form of serious depression. Isolation makes depression worse. i would also recommend you get daily exercise (walking is good), have some regular contact with adults who you can talk to, get adequate protein and watch your sugar/cafeine intake, and stay connnected with your health providers. Ask if there is a Perinatal Wellness Program in your area or a PPD support/treatment group. Don't be afraid to talk to a mental health professional who has experience with depression and Postpartum issues. Don't feel you have to handle this alone.

Best wishes,

Bev A., Marriage, Family Thearpist

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

depression during pregnancy is a real thing. talk to your ob now. Major risk factor for ppd. Get help now.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Indianapolis on

It can't technically be PPD until you've delivered the baby.

Postpartum depression is generally caused by a combination of factors, most of which are hormonally related as your body rids itself of all the pregnancy hormones.

But, it is possible that the hormones, stress of having a baby, the physical changes in your body, etc. have caused the symptoms of depression to be more apparent and brought more to the surface.
I'd recommend having a conversation with both your primary care provider and your OB/GYN to see what they advise in terms of effective ways to manage the symptoms while you're pregnant.
I've dealt with depression most of my adult life. I chose to discontinue medication when I became pregnant and not to resume while nursing. I really struggled with life after the birth of my second child, getting diagnosed with cancer, going through chemo and learning to live again as a survivor. Though I had nothing against medication, I chose to pursue therapy to learn how to deal with the emotions instead of correcting the hormonal imbalance - my body had enough chemicals in it at that point in time.

Good luck. All is manageable - recognizing it is the BIGGEST step along with seeking help.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I completely empathize with you. I'm 7.5 months pregnant and have an almost 2-year old at home. With my first pregnancy, I had depression in the second or third trimester. As it turns out, I was severely anemic. I started taking two tablets of Slow-FE per docs instructions each day until the end of my pregnancy. I have found that my body is so sensitive to vitamin deficiencies. And, of course, pregnancy takes so much out of us. Each pregnancy is different, as well. After my first, I got PPD after the pregnancy. I was put on anti-depressants which had side effects I didn't like. My general doc randomly tested me for Vit. D and found that I was deficient. (Their practice tests people regularly as they have found there's a big issue with this in the general public.) Within 3 days of going on the Vit. D therapy, my depression lifted. Now, my current OB says there was no connection between the two but if it worked, I say, who am I to argue? I think if it doesn't implicitly state the cause in their medical journals they studied 20 years ago, then, to them, it "can't be." But that's just my cynicism.

Either way, PPD is serious and you deserve to get help and answers for your situation. I wish you all the best.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I only have one, so I am speaking from observation rather than experience. I have seen my friends having second babies go through something like what you are describing. It seems like there is a mourning period just before that second baby comes -- a sadness that the time alone with your first child is coming to an end. Something precious is ending and you are not quite ready to embrace or envision your new life in a positive light. It seems to pass when the second is born. Wishing you love and peace and strength to get through the coming days!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Your doctor can probably give you the best advice. They will know exactly what to look for. Trust and believe that when I was in my 8th month I was exhausted. And about dinner--at about my 8th month, I told my husband that I didn't feel like making anything for dinner for the next 3 months! LOL I meant it. I just didn't feel like it. Fast forward 9 weeks after the baby was born and I have energy again. Good luck. You can do it, but don't do it all.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Casper on

It sounds like you are nesting. You may be naturally tired and have less energy for conversation, so it might be just a healthy thing that you are reserving it to take care of your baby. Anyhow, this might be an option if you are concerned with PPD, I have heard it really helps, and it makes sense in my mind at least.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Portland on

hang in there! i am sure it will pass. when i was about 8 months along i also just really wanted to be by myself and enjoy being pregnant

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Fresno on

Yes, it's possible to have PPD before the baby. I was diagnosed with it at 16 weeks. My doctor put me on Zoloft and it made all the difference in the world for me. I continued on with it until I was done breastfeeding and my hormones had more or less gone back to normal. If you feel like you are depressed, please speak with your doctor about it. It is much more common than you think, and usually it's easily resolved.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Denver on

First I have to say that the 3rd trimester of pregnancy, in my experience, sucks! Icky! Icky! There is no normal, there is no uniform way everyone feels. If you are feeling like this for goodness sake let your ob know. Remember, it isn't just for your own sake, but also for your family's sake. I can tell you that with my first I was so excited and motivated to do everything, but with my 2nd, that excitement just wasn't there no matter how I wanted it to was a bummer and I actually felt guilty for it thinking that was somehow a statement concerning the care and importance of baby #2. Also, I know that when I am iron deficient, I get so fatigued (pregnant or not) and that can lead to feeling depressed. My point is, there are many options as to what could be going on, so the best thing is to let your doctor know so you can have some help with this. If you've never been diagnosed with depression, how can you know if you've ever had it or not? Know what I mean?

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

PPD is postpartum depression, so no, you cannot get postpartum dpression before the baby is born, but you can suffer from depression at any time. Yes, if you are suffering from depression, you should be concerned. It is a medical condition and you should discuss it with your doctor. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Diego on

Hmmm...well you certainly are showing signs of depression. I would first see your doctor to rule out any physical problems, but also don't be afraid to ask for help from loved ones or friends. Sometimes we all need just a little extra help, and maybe your son will find a playmate as well! Hope you feel better soon!

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions