According to a Medscape Treatment Update on reproductive psychiatry by Misri and Kostaras, "during pregnancy, depressive symptoms such as changes in sleep and appetite are often difficult to distinguish from the normal experiences of pregnancy." Although up to 70% of women report experiencing negative mood symptoms during pregnancy, the prevalence of pregnant women who actually fulfill the diagnostic criteria for major depression is between 10% and 16%. The course of depression varies throughout pregnancy; most studies report a symptom peak during the first trimester, improvement during the second trimester, and an increase again during the third trimester.[6,7]
Several controlled studies have reported that between 12% and 16% of women experience a postpartum depressive episode, and this rate is as high as 26% in adolescent mothers. However, there is some disagreement over the defined time frame of the postpartum period.
Although the DSMIV-TR defines PPD as a major depressive episode occurring within 4 weeks of childbirth, other studies of PPD report that symptoms manifest themselves most often in the 6-12 weeks following delivery, and several researchers have defined the postpartum period as extending from 6-12 months after the birth. PPD can also be precipitated by a miscarriage.
© 2001 Medscape
Cite this: Postpartum Depression - Medscape - Aug 23, 2001.