Perinatal risks of untreated depression during pregnancy.

The Hospital for Sick Children and the Department of of Pharmacology, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario.
Canadian journal of psychiatry. Revue canadienne de psychiatrie (Impact Factor: 2.41). 12/2004; 49(11):726-35.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT To review the literature on the perinatal risks involved in untreated depression during pregnancy.
We searched Medline and medical texts for all studies pertaining to this area up to the end of April 2003. Key phrases entered were depression and pregnancy, depression and pregnancy outcome, and depression and untreated pregnancy. We did not include bipolar depression.
While there is wide variability in reported effects, untreated depression during pregnancy appears to carry substantial perinatal risks. These may be direct risks to the fetus and infant or risks secondary to unhealthy maternal behaviours arising from the depression. Recent human data suggest that untreated postpartum depression, not treatment with antidepressants in pregnancy, results in adverse perinatal outcome.
The biological dysregulation caused by gestational depression has not received appropriate attention: most studies focus on the potential but unproven risks of psychotropic medication. No in-depth discussion of the role of psychotherapy is available. Because they are not aware of the potentially catastrophic outcome of untreated maternal depression, this imbalance may lead women suffering from depression to fear teratogenic effects and refuse treatment.

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    ABSTRACT: Whilst there is compelling evidence of an almost 2-fold increased risk of still births, and suggestive evidence of increased mortality among offspring of mothers with psychotic disorders, only three studies have addressed the role of antenatal depression (AND) on survival of the baby. We examined these associations in a large cohort of pregnant women in Ghana. A Cohort study nested within 4-weekly surveillance of all women of reproductive age to identify pregnancies and collect data on births and deaths in the Kintampo Health Research Centre study area of Ghana. Women were screened for AND using the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) to ascertain DSM-IV major or minor depression. Outcomes were adverse birth outcomes, maternal/infant morbidity, and uptake of key newborn care practices, examined using logistic regression; effect sizes reported as relative risks with 95% confidence intervals. 20679 (89.6%) pregnant women completed the PHQ-9. The prevalence of AND was 9.9% (n = 2032) (95% confidence interval 9.4%-10.2%). AND was associated with: prolonged labour (RR 1.25, 95% CI 1.02-1.53); peripartum complications (RR 1.11, 95% CI 1.07-1.15);postpartum complications (RR 1.27, 96% CI 1.21-1.34); non-vaginal delivery (RR 1.19, 95% CI 1.02-1.40); newborn illness (RR 1.52, 95% CI 1.16-1.99); and bed net use during pregnancy (RR 0.93, 95% CI 0.89-0.98), but not neonatal deaths, still births, low birth weight, immediate breast feeding initiation, or exclusive breastfeeding. AND was marginally associated with preterm births (RR 1.32, 95% CI 0.98-1.76). This paper has contributed important evidence on the role of antenatal depression as a potential contributor to maternal and infant morbidity. Non-pharmacological treatments anchored on primary care delivery structures are recommended as an immediate step. We further recommend that trials are designed to assess if treating antenatal depression in conjunction with improving the quality of obstetric care results in improved maternal and newborn outcomes.
    PLoS ONE 12/2014; 9(12):e116333. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0116333 · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Complications related to preterm birth (PTB) and low birth weight (LBW) are leading causes of infant morbidity and mortality. Prenatal depression is a hypothesized psychosocial risk factor for both birth outcomes. The purpose of this systematic review was to examine evidence published between 1977 and 2013 on prenatal depression and risks of these primary adverse birth out-comes. A systematic search of the PUBMED and Psy-cINFO databases was conducted to identify studies testing the associations between prenatal depressive symptoms, or diagnoses of depression, and risk of PTB or LBW. We systematically selected 50 published reports on PTB and length of gestation, and 33 reports on LBW and BW. Results were reviewed by two independent reviewers and we evaluated the quality of the evidence with an established systematic review method, the Newcastle Ottawa Scale. We then undertook a narrative synthesis of the results following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines. Less than a quarter of 50 published reports found that prenatal depression was significantly associated with PTB or gestational age. In contrast, slightly more than half of the 33 reports found that prenatal depression was associated with LBW or BW. When weighing methodological features, we determined that the effects of prenatal depression on LBW are more consistent than effects on length of gestation or PTB. Although the evidence may not be strong enough to support routine depression screening for risk of adverse outcomes, screening to enable detection and timely treatment to reduce risk of postpartum depression is warranted. Further rigorous research on prenatal depression and adverse birth outcomes is needed.
    Maternal and Child Health Journal 12/2014; DOI:10.1007/s10995-014-1637-2 · 2.24 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Objective. The aims of this systematic review were to integrate the research on posttraumatic stress (PTS) and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after termination of pregnancy (TOP), miscarriage, perinatal death, stillbirth, neonatal death, and failed in vitro fertilisation (IVF). Methods. Electronic databases (AMED, British Nursing Index, CINAHL, MEDLINE, SPORTDiscus, PsycINFO, PubMEd, ScienceDirect) were searched for articles using PRISMA guidelines. Results. Data from 48 studies were included. Quality of the research was generally good. PTS/PTSD has been investigated in TOP and miscarriage more than perinatal loss, stillbirth, and neonatal death. In all reproductive losses and TOPs, the prevalence of PTS was greater than PTSD, both decreased over time, and longer gestational age is associated with higher levels of PTS/PTSD. Women have generally reported more PTS or PTSD than men. Sociodemographic characteristics (e.g., younger age, lower education, and history of previous traumas or mental health problems) and psychsocial factors influence PTS and PTSD after TOP and reproductive loss. Conclusions. This systematic review is the first to investigate PTS/PTSD after reproductive loss. Patients with advanced pregnancies, a history of previous traumas, mental health problems, and adverse psychosocial profiles should be considered as high risk for developing PTS or PTSD following reproductive loss.
    Journal of pregnancy 01/2015; 2015:1-14. DOI:10.1155/2015/646345


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