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Pregnancy-related Depression

Jeffrey H. Dover
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Atlanta Auto Accident and Medical Malpractice Attorney

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3/25/2011
Jeffrey H. Dover
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According to a 2007 article in The American Journal of Psychiatry, 1 out of every 7 women suffers from depression prior to, during or after pregnancy. When thinking of pregnancy-related depression, most people think of post-partum depression. What many people don't realize is that there are actually four types of pregnancy-related depression that a woman can experience, including:

Depression During Pregnancy

According to the American Pregnancy Association, 10 to 20 percent of all pregnant women struggle with some level of depression prior to childbirth, and up to 25 percent of those women will suffer from major depression. This is also referred to as ante-partum depression, and there are many factors that can trigger it. These include relationship problems, a familial or personal history of depression, or a previous pregnancy loss. If left untreated, depression during pregnancy can have detrimental effects on both the mother and the baby.

Post-partum Blues

After giving birth, some women begin to show signs of irritability, emotional unease or may frequently feel sad or confused. After ten or so days have passed since the birth of the child, the mother will usually begin to feel like her normal self again.

Post-partum Depression

Though many women experience the aforementioned "baby blues", some experience sadness that lasts much longer than normal. This is post-partum depression, and the symptoms are much more serious than with post-partum blues. According to the Mayo Clinic, some symptoms include:
  • Loss of appetite
  • Insomnia
  • Severe irritability
  • Intense fatigue
  • Lack of interest in sex
  • Difficulties bonding with the newborn
Post-partum depression can be treated. Remedies include counseling, antidepressants and hormone therapy. If the mother actively seeks treatment, the depression can begin to wane in only a few months.

Post-partum Psychosis

Typically appearing within two weeks of childbirth, post-partum psychosis is a serious form of pregnancy-related depression. Often, treatment in a hospital is required. The symptoms of this rare condition include hallucinations, delusions, paranoia, and possible attempts by the mother to inflict harm on herself or the baby. With the help of treatment, post-partum psychosis can be overcome.


Category: Medical Malpractice


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