Perinatal depression--assessment and management

Aust Fam Physician. 2006 Sep;35(9):670-3.


Background: Depression and anxiety often begin in pregnancy, particularly third trimester, therefore 'perinatal' rather than postnatal depression might be a better term to describe this disorder.

Objective: This article outlines an approach to assessment and management of perinatal depression.

Discussion: Psychological difficulties are common after childbirth and have potentially serious consequences. Treatment needs to consider the complex interplay of biology and psychology, and both mother and infant need consideration. Early, assertive identification and sensitive management, mindful of risks and benefits to both mother and infant, is the best current approach to improving outcomes.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antidepressive Agents / therapeutic use
  • Depression / diagnosis*
  • Depression / psychology
  • Depression / therapy*
  • Depression, Postpartum / diagnosis
  • Depression, Postpartum / psychology
  • Depression, Postpartum / therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / diagnosis*
  • Pregnancy Complications / psychology
  • Pregnancy Complications / therapy*
  • Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects
  • Risk Assessment / methods
  • Risk Factors


  • Antidepressive Agents