no. 581 – Antepartum Depression for the Maybe Baby Believer?

After my last post and another OB visit to keep the infamous Dead Baby Thoughts at bay for another 24-48 hours, I stopped by my facebook account to update. One of the options you have with facebook is adding a little blurb about what you are doing or thinking at any particular time. I added that I was dealing with "antepartum depression", thinking I had come up with some original term; a spin on postpartum depression.

One of my friends wrote on my wall: Antepartum sucks.

Because someone actually got what I was feeling, I did a quick search on antepartum depression and realized that the term I thought was made up was in fact very real. I don’t know why I thought there was no such thing, but even more interesting was that in the two and half years I’ve been reading blogs, I don’t recall anyone ever mentioning it during their pregnancy.

I don’t believe it’s because no one has ever felt it. These bloggers used all the key phrases of depression yet rarely used the word "depression" except in relationship to postpartum depression. Now I’m not self-diagnosing myself, but to have something other than "survivor’s guilt" to blame for how I’ve been feeling makes me feel less of an emotional fraud.

This article was the first I read and when I reached the list of possible triggers of APD, I was both fearful of what I could be doing to Murdock; and hopeful that maybe my inability to commit any joy to this pregnancy could be reversed.

The triggers?

  • Relationship problems
  • Family or personal history of depression
  • Fertility treatments
  • Previous pregnancy loss
  • Stressful life events
  • Complications in pregnancy
  • History of abuse or trauma

The signs?

  • Persistent sadness
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Sleeping too little or too much
  • Loss of interest in activities that you usually enjoy
  • Recurring thoughts of death, suicide or hopelessness
  • Anxiety
  • Feelings of guilt or worthlessness
  • Change in eating habits

I found it reassuring that for many, light therapy can be a literal life-saver, which makes me even more thankful that every night when I drive home from work I notice a little more day light. I’m also glad that I have another appointment with my OB next week at which time I will mention this to him. It may be nothing. It may be something.


Just to give you an idea of how little APD is taken into consideration, typepad does not recognize the word "antepartum" but does "postpartum". Also, a google search of "antepartum depression" had 2,860 results while "postpartum depression" had 3,630,000 results.


A special thank you to those of you who said, "screw those comments being turned off, I’m contacting DD anyway." Your words, whether virtual hugs or virtual bitch-slaps, are much appreciated.