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date: 27 July 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Depression affects 9–13% of pregnant women and 12–16% of postpartum women. Rates vary depending on whether depressive symptoms or DSM diagnoses of depression are considered. Risk factors of perinatal depression include socioeconomic status, social support, personality style, personal and family history of depression, and hormonal changes. The Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) is a self-report instrument commonly used to assess for perinatal depression. The treatment of perinatal depression with antidepressant medication is controversial. Most guidelines recommend psychotherapy for mild to moderate depression and medication for moderate to severe depression. Established psychotherapies include interpersonal psychotherapy and cognitive behavioral therapy, as well as alternative therapies such as infant massage in the postpartum. Although extensive research on perinatal depression has been conducted over the past two decades, future research could include designing prospective, methodologically sound studies with larger samples to compare treatment modalities, teratogenicity associated with pharmacotherapy, and prevalence of perinatal depression in various cultures.

Keywords: depression, pregnancy, postpartum, prevalence, risk factors, course, comorbidity, assessment, pharmacotherapy/adjunctive treatment, effects

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