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: 2.55). 12/2004; 49(11):726-35.
Source: PubMed


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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    • "Goodman et al., 2014; Lilliecreutz et al., 2010; Robinson et al., 1992; Sockol et al., 2011; van Zoonen et al., 2014) and/ or medication (e.g. Wisner et al., 2009) might improve maternal disorders and offspring outcomes, but during pregnancy and lactation potential risks and benefits have to be evaluated (Arch et al., 2012; Bonari et al., 2004; Wisner et al., 2009). Psychotherapies involving the family and interventions designed to improve mother-infantinteraction are promising strategies that need further research attention (Sockol et al., 2011; Stein et al., 2014). "
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    ABSTRACT: Peripartum anxiety and depressive disorders are associated with adverse consequences for mother and child. Thus, it is important to examine risk factors, correlates and course patterns of anxiety and depressive disorders during pregnancy and after delivery. In the prospective-longitudinal Maternal Anxiety in Relation to Infant Development (MARI) Study, n=306 expectant mothers were recruited from gynaecological outpatient settings in Germany and completed up to seven waves of assessment from early pregnancy until 16 months postpartum. Anxiety and depressive disorders and potential risk factors/correlates were assessed with the Composite International Diagnostic Interview for Women (CIDI-V), medical records and additional questionnaires. Although peripartum anxiety and depressive disorders appeared to be persistent in some women, others reported major changes with heterogeneous courses and shifts between diagnoses and contents. There was a considerable amount of incident disorders. Strongest predictors for peripartum anxiety and depressive disorders were anxiety and depressive disorders prior to pregnancy, but psychosocial (e.g. maternal education), individual (e.g. low self-esteem), and interpersonal (e.g. partnership satisfaction, social support) factors were also related. Knowing the aims of the study, some participants may have been more encouraged to report particular symptoms, but if so, this points to the importance of a comprehensive assessment in perinatal care. Peripartum time is a sensitive period for a considerable incidence or persistence/recurrence of anxiety and depressive disorders albeit the course may be rather heterogeneous. Interventional studies are needed to examine whether an alteration of associated factors could help to prevent peripartum anxiety and depressive disorders. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2015 · Journal of Affective Disorders
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    • "The larger risk estimates documented for some non-SSRI antidepressants176,178,182 may reflect greater severity of underlying depression, since these agents are not generally considered immediate first-line therapeutic options. Moreover, many studies did not clearly distinguish between spontaneous and induced abortions,161,181 which could have resulted in biased estimates of spontaneous abortion risk with antidepressant use, given that maternal depression itself may increase the risk of elective termination of pregnancy.183,184 "
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    ABSTRACT: In pregnant women with major depression, the overarching goal of treatment is to achieve or maintain maternal euthymia, thus limiting both maternal and fetal exposure to the harmful effects of untreated or incompletely treated depression. However, the absence of uniformly effective therapies with guaranteed obstetric and fetal safety makes the treatment of major depression during pregnancy among the most formidable of clinical challenges. Clinicians and patients are still faced with conflicting data and expert opinion regarding the reproductive safety of antidepressants in pregnancy, as well as large gaps in our understanding of the effectiveness of most antidepressants and nonpharmacological alternatives for treating antenatal depression. In this paper, we provide a clinically focused review of the available information on potential maternal and fetal risks of untreated maternal depression during pregnancy, the effectiveness of interventions for maternal depression during pregnancy, and potential obstetric, fetal, and neonatal risks associated with antenatal antidepressant use.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2014 · Drug, Healthcare and Patient Safety
    • "This study was a naturalistic follow-up of women who participated in a larger randomized controlled study testing the efficacy of acupuncture as a treatment for major depressive disorder during pregnancy compared to two control treatments (control acupuncture and massage) (Manber et al., 2010). All women were depressed during pregnancy and therefore at risk for postpartum depression (Bonari et al., 2004). The parent study focused only on the pregnancy phase. "
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    ABSTRACT: This study examined the links between maternal sleep, maternal depressive symptoms, and mothers' perceptions of their emotional relationship with their infant in a self-recruited sample of mothers. Eighty mothers of infants 3-18 months old completed sleep diaries for 5 consecutive nights, and questionnaires assessing sleep (Insomnia Severity Index [ISI]), depressive symptom severity (Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale [EPDS]), and perceived mother-infant relationship (Postpartum Bonding Questionnaire [PBQ] and Maternal Postnatal Attachment Questionnaire [MPAQ]). Significant correlations, controlling for depression severity, were found between more disturbed maternal sleep and more negative maternal perceptions of the mother-infant relationship. Regression analyses revealed that EPDS showed the strongest association with PBQ, whereas ISI demonstrated the strongest association with MPAQ. The present study highlights the importance of deepening and expanding our understanding of the negative implications of maternal sleep problems.
    No preview · Article · Aug 2014 · Behavioral Sleep Medicine
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