The Effects Of Depression On Pregnancy And The Postpartum Period

758 WordsDec 2, 20154 Pages
Depression is more common in women than in men across all age groups and cultural backgrounds with a female to male ratio of 1.68 (Kessler et al. 1993). Women are at their greatest risk of suffering from depression during the childbearing years. Currently, up to 20% of the pregnant women population are prescribed an antidepressant during pregnancy (Pawluski JL), and others may become pregnant while on one. According to Mourilhe and Stokes (1998), only one in 20 depressed patients are diagnosed and adequately treated. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) medications are the most common antidepressant treatment used during pregnancy and the postpartum period (Pawluski JL). It is important to treat depression in an expecting mother as studies show a negative effect of depression on pregnancy outcomes (Steer et al. 1992), maternal infant bonding (Condon and Corkindale 1997), cognitive development in children (Cogill et al. 1986), and subsequent recurrences of depression, resulting in problems for the child (Philipps and O’Hara, 1991). Because of the potential for maternal depression in pregnancy to cause negative impacts on both the mother and offspring, treatment (for the depression?) is highly recommended (Morrison, Riggs, & Rurak 2005). As such, fluoxetine is a frequently prescribed SSRI to pregnant women [need?] as it increases serotonin neurotransmission and has fewer side effects compared to other antidepressants (Morrison JL1, Riggs KW, Rurak DW). [However,
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