Treating Depression During Pregnancy

by Jon Henshaw

Depression affects up to 15% of women during and shortly after pregnancy. Dr Janet Atsumi Martin, from the Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre in Los Angeles, stated that the impact of depression during pregnancy includes:

  • Poorer maternal self-care and nutrition
  • Decreased birth weight
  • Increased use of tobacco, alcohol and drugs
  • Increased risk to fetus
  • Increased stress hormones
  • Increased risk of pre-term delivery
  • Increased risk of postpartum depression
  • Impairs care of and bonding with infant

Unfortunately, Dr. Martin also pointed out that there are also dangers of treating depression during pregnancy. For mothers who must get chemical treatment during pregnancy, she suggested the following.

“Start low and go slow with these medications by using a minimal effective dose because they have effects on the mother (example, potential side effects of increased anxiety, nausea and insomnia) and also effects on pre-term labor (that is, increased pre-term labor).”

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This entry was posted on Friday, August 5th, 2005 at 6:01 pm and is filed under Pregnancy. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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