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Sunday, August 27, 2006

Article- "Pregnancy Depression Often Overlooked"

Pregnancy Depression Often Overlooked
-- Depression during pregnancy can contribute to prematurity and low birth weight in infants. A new study reveals that, while two in 10 pregnant women are depressed, most of those women will not be treated.

Severe depression during pregnancy can interfere with a woman's ability to eat properly, get enough rest, or receive pre-natal care -- all of which can negatively impact the baby's and the mother's health.

Researchers at the University of Michigan Depression Center in Ann Arbor report some women do not seek treatment for depression because they believe the feelings are normal during pregnancy. Even the women who do seek treatment, report the researchers, are not getting the full psychological and medical intervention they need.

Researchers surveyed pregnant women to assess their levels of depression. Of the 1,837 women, 276 were found to have serious depression. Only one in three of these women were being treated for their depression.

Study investigators report no significant differences among women of different races, ethnicities, employment situations, education levels, marital status, or parental situation.

The following signs may indicate symptoms of depression:

  • Two or more weeks of a depressed mood
  • Decreased interest in activities
  • Change in appetite
  • Change in sleep patterns
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Excessive feelings of worthlessness or guilt
  • Thoughts of suicide
  • Extreme irritability

This article was reported by, who offers Medical Alerts by e-mail every day of the week. To subscribe, go to:

SOURCE: General Hospital Psychiatry, 2006;28:289-296"


  • At 4:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Maternal stress is also linked with imperfections in the developing nervous system which can lead to problems of perception, thinking, and memory. These mothers experience constant stress, shame, loneliness and, sometimes, clinical depression during pregnancy or after giving birth.


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