Pregnancy Depression: Often Overlooked

Depression during pregnancy is often overlooked, with much of the focus being on depression in the postpartum period.

According to a study in the August 4, 2001 issue of the British Medical Journal, women are more likely to suffer from depression while they are pregnant than they are in the postpartum period.

Depression was found to be more likely in the 32nd week of pregnancy than eight weeks after birth. Depression fell to its lowest level eight months after giving birth in the study group of more than 9,000 mothers.

The researchers evaluated the women at 18 and 32 weeks of pregnancy and at 8 weeks and 8 months after the birth.

There is some evidence suggesting that a mother’s mood during pregnancy may affect her unborn child. Researchers stress the importance of recognizing and treating prenatal depression.

British Medical Journal 2001;323:257-260

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