What if Depressed and Pregnant?

Psychiatr Danub. 2021 Summer;33(2):147-151. doi: 10.24869/psyd.2021.147.


Depression is the most prevalent mood disorder among pregnant women. Only 50% of women seek intervention during gestation. Untreated during pregnancy, depression can induce obstetric and neonatal complications, most commonly, anhedonia, suboptimal weight gain, suicidal behavior, pre-term birth, and/or spontaneous miscarriage. The babies more often suffer cognitive deficits, low birth weight, and growth delay. The mothers subsequently also experience an increased risk for significant degrees of postpartum depression. Those with relatively milder cases of depression should initially receive psychotherapy. Otherwise, there are many antidepressant medications available for the pharmacotherapy of depression. However, treating pregnant females with depression is a challenge because of potential teratogenic effects caused by many pharmaceuticals. Physicians should know the recommended guidelines for treating depressed women during a time of gestation. It is crucial to identify women suffering from depression during pregnancy, and electing those that warrant pharmacotherapy while picking the best and safest medication is a complex process with paramount significance. Before prescribing an antidepressant drug, explain the advantages and disadvantages of the interventions. Whenever prescribing during these circumstances, more than conventionally close obstetric, emotional, and medication monitoring is to be provided. This would also include an emphasis on diet, exercise, psychotherapy, and avoidance of any non-critical medicinal or other substance exposures.

MeSH terms

  • Antidepressive Agents / adverse effects
  • Depression, Postpartum*
  • Exercise
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications* / drug therapy
  • Pregnancy Complications* / epidemiology
  • Pregnant Women


  • Antidepressive Agents