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What are the safe treatments for depression during pregnancy?

June 7, 2022 at 12:00 AM
Image of a pregnant woman who is researching treatments for depression during pregnancy.

Starting a family is exciting, but it can come with some trepidation when you have depression. Especially if you’ve found an effective treatment that works for you and your lifestyle, there may be apprehension about going off your treatment for a safe pregnancy. But when working with an experienced, compassionate psychiatrist, you can find treatment for depression during pregnancy that’s safe for you and your baby. Then you can experience the joy and excitement of having a baby unclouded by mental health concerns.

Is it important to treat depression during pregnancy?

The symptoms of depression can affect your ability to care for yourself during pregnancy. You may be used to living through mental health struggles, but staying on top of your health during pregnancy is crucial. Without treatment, depression can make it challenging to:

  • Eat healthily or eat enough when you need to gain weight
  • Make it to prenatal appointments
  • Take prenatal vitamins
  • Resist self-medication through smoking, drinking, or drug use

You deserve to feel your best while pregnant, which is enough reason to get treatment. But depression can also affect your baby, including:

  • Low gestational and birth weight
  • Less activity, facial expression, and more fussiness after birth
  • Premature birth

When you’re planning on becoming pregnant, talk to your psychiatrist to learn the options available for a safe, healthy pregnancy for you and your baby.

How can you get help with depression during your pregnancy?

When you talk with a holistic mental health care provider, they can provide you with a wide range of treatment plans that are both safe and effective. Components of a new care plan might include the following.

Talk therapy

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is often a component of mental health treatment. It is also safe for pregnancy because it involves talking with a psychiatrist, therapist, or counselor. During CBT, you learn to recognize and respond to negative emotions in new ways, which, over time, can change your thoughts, feelings, and actions.

Similarly, interpersonal therapy (IPT) happens through talking with a mental health professional to confront issues in your relationships and challenges in life. It usually involves roleplay and open-ended questions.

Both forms of talk therapy are safe treatments for depression during pregnancy. They can give patients effective tools for dealing with depression for the rest of their lives.


Those with prescriptions for depression shouldn’t stop taking their medication without first talking to their doctor. Working with a team of care providers, including your therapist or counselor, psychiatrist, and obstetrician is a good idea during pregnancy.

Some medications are safe for pregnant women, meaning you can maintain your treatment plan without adjustment. It’s still a good idea to keep a regular appointment with your psychiatrist or therapist to make a note of any changes in depression symptoms through pregnancy.

Transcranial magnetic stimulation

Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a non-invasive treatment for depression. A care provider uses magnetic fields to stimulate the areas of the brain that control mood. There are no side effects, and it’s sometimes effective against treatment-resistant depression. A psychiatrist or doctor can evaluate if TMS is a safe depression treatment for your pregnancy.

Some friends of mine holding an ultrasound picture of their sweet baby

Bella Jace Center for Health works with patients to provide safe, effective treatment for depression during pregnancy.

You don’t have to face your depression alone when you’re pregnant. The compassionate psychiatrists of Bella Jace work with patients in every stage of life, providing adaptive care for their needs, including during pregnancy. When your treatment plan isn’t working for you, it’s time for a change; that’s where our team can help. Our supportive approach helps patients to enhance their well-being, no matter what they’re dealing with in life. Find mental health care for the rest of your life when you become a patient with our team.

Make an appointment with Bella Jace Center for Health to learn more about your options for treatment for depression during pregnancy.

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We provide traditional and alternative treatment for mental health issues in Brentwood, TN.