EPDS Self-Test
for Postnatal Depression

Pregnant and Depressed?
Try Our EPDS Self-Quiz

Table of Contents

11 percent of all women globally have reported having some postpartum depression symptoms.

If you’ve been searching for a guide that details the link between being pregnant and depressed, you’ve come to the right place.

We’re going to pull the curtain back on what happens when you experience depression during pregnancy and postpartum depression as well.

The answers you’ve been looking for you can find right here in one place.

Prenatal depression is nothing to joke about, and that’s precisely why we want to help educate you about the signs and what puts women at a higher risk of having PPD.

Postnatal Depression Self-Quiz (EPDS)

In the past 7 days, have you…

been able to laugh and see the funny side of things?

This test is based on the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS). Please use it as an educational tool, and not as an official diagnosis. Though it is a widely used and effective tool, any EPDS score should not override a clinical judgment. Please contact a doctor for a proper diagnosis. If you are experiencing thoughts of suicide, please immediately call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255.

What's Prenatal Depression?

When you talk about being pregnant and depressed, typically, the only thing mentioned is postpartum depression. However, it’s essential to understand that women can also have depression at the beginning and throughout their pregnancy.

Prenatal depression is also known as perinatal depression because it happens during your pregnancy. This is a mental disorder that goes far beyond waking up in a bad mood; it’s something that mothers continue to experience no matter how hard they try to shake it.

Unless you know what to look for, you might mistake the feeling for something else. Some factors could put you at a higher risk of developing prenatal depression than other women.

Being a Single Parent

It’s hard to raise a child with two parents, much less having to do everything on your own. There are struggles a single parent has that two-parent households will never understand.

For that reason being a single parent is one of the most common reasons women find themselves experiencing prenatal depression. The stress of having to provide combined with challenges finding resources makes it increasingly hard for a single mother to enjoy bringing a new life into the world.

Pregnancy Complications

While 80 percent of women don’t experience any complications throughout pregnancy and delivery, the other 20% do experience complications. With millions of babies being born each year, twenty percent are still many women experiencing complications.

For some women, these complications occur because they have a preexisting condition that worsens throughout the pregnancy. For example, if a mother has diabetes before becoming pregnant, the likelihood of getting gestational diabetes and experiencing challenging childbirth is greater.

Several conditions can cause a woman’s pregnancy to become complicated.

These pre-existing conditions can be managed if a woman is routinely attending their prenatal appointments and doing things like managing their weight and leading a healthier life.

Past Traumas

20 percent of pregnancies will end in a miscarriage, and each miscarriage or loss a woman suffers increases her risk of becoming depressed and anxious during the next pregnancy.

There are several questions a mother might ask herself when a pregnancy ends in miscarriage.

What’s wrong with me? Is there something I could’ve done to prevent it? Unfortunately, nothing the mother could’ve done to prevent the miscarriage from happening in most cases.

If a mother doesn’t take the time to address her feelings from the previous loss, it will continue to affect her and worsen with each new pregnancy, ending in being pregnant and depressed.

History of Stress

When people say that stress kills, they aren’t lying. Everyone experiences stress at one time or another throughout their life.

If your body remains in a constant state of stress, several things will happen to your body. The things that happen to your body when you’re stressed.

If you’re a woman that’s expecting, it’s not good for you or your unborn child to remain in a state of stress because it can negatively affect both the mother and the child.

Signs of Prenatal Depression

There are several signs of prenatal depression you can be on the lookout for. If you begin to experience any of the signs, you must speak with your doctor about the resources available to women experiencing the same thing you’re experiencing.

If you currently don’t have a primary care physician, you can always take a self-quiz to determine if you’re feeling prenatal/postpartum depression.

pregnant and depressed

Feeling Overwhelmed

For many women, the feeling of being pregnant is hopeful and joyous, but for mothers that are experiencing prenatal depression, the only thing they’ll feel is overwhelmed. Overwhelmed about what’s to come and how they’re going to take care of themselves and their children.

Worrying About the Baby

It’s common to worry about your child before they are born, but there is a certain point where it becomes excessive. If the thoughts you have are more so worrying about all the negative things that could happen to them throughout their life, it’s cause for concern.

The worrying feeling consumes your thoughts and increases the amount of anxiety you have.

Not Taking Care of Yourself

After you find out you’re pregnant, your doctor will give you instructions about what you do and don’t need to do to ensure you have a healthy pregnancy. If you find that you’re not following the guidelines given to you, it might be prenatal depression.

At this point, it’s important to tell your doctor what you’re going through because it can affect you and your child.

Being Disconnected From Loved Ones

When you’re going through a hard time, the best thing to do is lean on your support system, whether your spouse, family, or close friends. But, what should you do when you don’t want your support system around you?

This is another sign of prenatal depression because for women feeling these emotions, it’s hard to be reassured by others or want to be around them. Thus, you’ll find yourself disconnecting and avoiding situations in which you’ve got to speak to others.

When you don’t make an effort to be around other people, you can avoid talking about your pregnancy, which can trigger your anxiety and depression.

What's Postnatal / Postpartum Depression?

Now that we’ve given you insight into prenatal depression, it’s time to switch gears and focus on postnatal depression, also referred to as postpartum depression. Unlike prenatal depression, or being pregnant and depressed, postpartum occurs after you’ve given birth.

Postpartum depression is also called ‘the baby blues,’ and sometimes people will tell you that it’ll go away, but it doesn’t just go away for some women. If you’re experiencing the baby blues, one thing that makes it different from postpartum depression is that baby blues are normal.

It’s okay to feel a little worried about your child and the things that are to come, but when you’ve got postpartum depression, this feeling is much stronger and much more powerful.

With postpartum depression, there are several signs you might experience that are warning signs to get help.

Intrusive Thoughts

Another way to tell the difference between the baby blues and postpartum depression is the thoughts you're having. Once you begin to have thoughts of harming yourself and your child, it's more than just the baby blues.

Having these thoughts are concerning because if you don't get the help you need, it could lead you to act on the thoughts you're having, and as a mother, the last thing you want is to harm yourself or your precious little one.

Feeling Overwhelmingly Guilty

While these feelings of depression and anxiety can't be helped, it doesn't mean that you won't feel guilty for having these feelings. You might begin to question yourself as a mother or wonder if you'll ever be a good parent for your child.

You might also begin to feel as if you bring no value to your child's life or the life of others around you. None of these things are true; your baby needs you and loves you.

You have value.

Everything Feels Like Too Much

The newborn stage isn't deemed hard for no reason; it's during this stage that new mothers can feel as if everything is too much. You've fed, changed, and rocked your baby, but it seems as if they're never satisfied.

When you're experiencing postpartum depression, it can feel like your child is crying for hours and never stops.

You Don't Feel That Motherly Feeling

Some women feel like mothers as soon as they give birth to their babies. Others don't get this feeling for days or even months after having their child.

The reason for this disconnect is commonly postpartum depression. If you're experiencing this, you should speak with your doctor and understand that you're not broken, and you're not the only one going through this.

Can It Be Treated?

Postpartum depression seems like it can go on forever with no end in sight, but that’s not true. In fact, several treatment options can help to manage symptoms of postpartum depression.

The first step in getting help for your depression is to first speak to your doctor. From there, you’ll work together to find a treatment that will help improve your symptoms.

Taking Time for Self-Care

Although your baby needs you, they won’t get what they need if their mother isn’t the best version of herself. Ensuring that you’re all you can be for your child means taking care of yourself.

It’s essential that now and then, you make time for yourself. It doesn’t have to be anything extravagant, but taking a calming bath or finding time to exercise is important.

You’ve got to find a way to take care of yourself, even if that means finding someone you trust to watch your baby for a couple of hours so you can take a nap. Self-care is a great way to help reduce and manage postpartum depression symptoms.

Medication

If you’ve spoken to your doctor, they will likely prescribe you medication to help with your anxiety and depression. Antidepressants alter the chemicals in your brain that help to regulate your mood.

It’s important to understand that your medication isn’t going to kick in as soon as you start taking it, but you can hope to see improvements in the coming weeks.

However, if you don’t notice any improvement after taking your medication the way you’re supposed to, you need to head back to the doctor to have it adjusted.

One-on-One Therapy

Sometimes you’ll feel better if you sit down to speak with someone that can help you sort through the emotions you’re feeling. It’s essential to work with a counselor trained to treat postpartum depression and help you figure out where these thoughts and emotions stem from.

You might find that taking time to speak to someone will help you feel better and relieve some of the heavy feelings you’re experiencing daily. One thing to remember is that depression can get better.

You’ve got to stay consistent with your treatment and ensure you’re taking time for yourself. There will be times when you need to use more than one treatment method to manage and reduce the postpartum depression you’re feeling.

Pregnant and Depressed 101

If you’re pregnant and depressed, the first thing you need to do is speak with your doctor to see if you’re dealing with prenatal or postpartum depression.

If you took our ‘Pregnant and Depressed’ self-quiz we provided above, you might already have an idea of what you’re dealing with and how to find help.

Get Help With Us Today

Are you in need of a doctor who knows what to do to provide prenatal depression treatment? If so, contact Inland Empire TMS.

We have experienced staff that knows exactly what you need when it comes to treatment options. Let us help you get the treatment you need for your postpartum depression.

Sources

  1. Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. (2020, June 17). Trends in Pregnancy and Childbirth Complications in the U.S. Retrieved from https://www.bcbs.com/the-health-of-america/reports/trends-in-pregnancy-and-childbirth-complications-in-the-us
  2. Cox, J., Holden, J., & Sagovsky, R. (1987). Detection of Postnatal Depression: Development of the 10-item Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale. British Journal of Psychiatry, 150(6), 782-786. doi:10.1192/bjp.150.6.782
  3. Health Research Funding. (2021, April 26). 10 Unbelieveable Missed Miscarriage Statistics. Retrieved from https://healthresearchfunding.org/missed-miscarriage-statistics/
  4. Inland Empire TMS. (2021, July 14). Prenatal Depression Treatment: TMS for Pregnant Women. Retrieved August 3, 2021, from https://inlandempiretms.com/tms/prenatal-depression-treatment/
  5. Inland Empire TMS. (2021, July 08). Can Being Depressed While Pregnant Affect the Baby? Retrieved August 3, 2021, from https://inlandempiretms.com/can-being-depressed-while-pregnant-affect-the-baby/
  6. Segal, J., Ph.D., Smith, M., M.A., Segal, R., M.A., & Robinson, L. (2020, May). Stress Symptoms, Signs, and Causes. Retrieved August 3, 2021, from https://www.helpguide.org/articles/stress/stress-symptoms-signs-and-causes.htm
  7. Wolfberg, A. (2019, February 22). Are we massively underestimating how many women have postpartum depression? Retrieved from https://centerforhealthjournalism.org/2019/02/21/are-we-hugely-underestimating-how-many-women-have-postpartum-depression