The obstetrician and depression during pregnancy

Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol. 2004 Oct 15;116(2):125-30. doi: 10.1016/j.ejogrb.2003.11.028.


The objective of this article is to review the literature as to the presence of depression during and after pregnancy and some of its clinical implications; and to present a simple statistical aide for screening purposes. Clinical depression affects at least one in five women of childbearing age. During pregnancy, this figure does not diminish and not only signals problems for the pregnant woman but also for the child, measurably so into adolescence. Postpartum depression, but even more so antepartum depression, are medical conditions that negatively affect mother and child, and need to be detected as early as possible to avoid or limit the use of pharmacological treatments with possible side effects. The obstetrician should regularly test for depression from the very first moments of planning for a child, and use the test results for a "pregnancy mood profile". This profile requires only a few minutes and is very simple to complex. It could serve for early control of depression during pregnancy as well as determine the risk for postpartum depression and thus serve as a pre-alert for postpartum suicide.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Depression / complications
  • Depression / diagnosis*
  • Depression, Postpartum / prevention & control*
  • Early Diagnosis
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / diagnosis*
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Suicide Prevention