It's a highly under-diagnosed condition.
Former Bachelorette and current HGTV designer Jillian Harris has some big news: She is expecting again! She's also getting very real about something that's a part of pregnancy for many, but not talked about the way cravings and morning sickness are.
"I felt like depressed, like clinically depressed," Harris—who is due in October— explains in a video posted to YouTube. "Having those feelings for the first two or three months of being pregnant was definitely a challenge."
The interior designer describes how, on a recent vacation with fiance Justin Pasutto and the couple's 1-year-old son, Leo, she knew something was wrong, and Pasutto told her he could tell she felt miserable. "I started crying and I was like, I feel like everything that brings me joy right now—being a mom, cooking, organizing, working, doing all these things — I can't do," she explains.
Harris felt incredible sick and fatigued during her first trimester, and she felt her mood sinking along with her physical state.
"I was really down on myself and I wasn't responding to my emails. I felt like a failure," she says, adding that because of a family history with depression and other mental health diagnoses, she started stressing out about whether or not what she was feeling could be classified as such.
"I know there is postpartum depression," she wondered, "but is there such a thing as like pregnancy depression?"
Yes, there is such a thing, and Harris is far from the only pregnant mama to feel this way.
Perinatal depression is defined as depression during pregnancy or the first year after giving birth, and research suggests it's the most under diagnosed pregnancy complication, with more than 400,000 babies born to depressed mothers in the U.S. each year.
Now in her second trimester, Harris is feeling better these days. Before that happened though, she did what more mamas who feel this way should: She talked to her doctor. "It just feels so good to have myself back," she says.
Harris says that she and Pasutto "feel so unbelievably lucky and blessed that we were able to get pregnant again", but she wants other pregnant mothers to know that it's okay to admit if a pregnancy has you feeling something other than joy. That's really the first step to feeling like yourself again.