Mental disorders are among the most common morbidities of pregnancy and the postnatal period, and can have adverse effects on the mother, her child, and family. This Series paper summarises the evidence about epidemiology, risk factors, identification, and interventions for non-psychotic mental disorders. Although the phenomenology and risk factors for perinatal mental disorders are largely similar to those for the disorders at other times, treatment considerations differ during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Most randomised controlled trials have examined psychosocial and psychological interventions for postnatal depression, with evidence for effectiveness in treating and preventing the disorder. Few high-quality studies exist on the effectiveness or safety of pharmacological treatments in the perinatal period, despite quite high prescription rates. General principles of prescribing of drugs in the perinatal period are provided, but individual risk-benefit analyses are needed for decisions about treatment.
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