1. Depression or anxiety before, during, or after pregnancy is a real medical condition that can happen to any woman, for a wide variety of reasons. Your wife might be feeling extremely overwhelmed at having twins when she already has a young child. Also, the powerful pregnancy hormones her body is producing may be causing major mood changes.

    Ativan, or lorazepam, is an antianxiety drug often used briefly in pregnancy. Especially if the dose is low, the benefits probably outweigh the risks. I strongly suggest, however, that your wife ask her obstetrician for a referral to a mentalhealth professional, who will have more expertise in current treatments for depression and anxiety. Talking with another woman who has experienced depression during pregnancy or after birth might be very helpful for your wife as well. As for your wife’s family, you can tell them that a person can’t just “snap out” of depression and that the condition can be life threatening. Remind them that your wife is under a doctor’s care, and assure them that she is being helped.

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Ask Tori RN®, by registered nurse and resident author of The Joy of Pregnancy, is a helpful and reassuring resource for parents-to-be.