Screening for depression during and after pregnancy is good for women, their babies, and their families, says a new opinion issued yesterday by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
Clinical depression is the leading cause of disability in women in the United States. Between 14% and 23% of pregnant women experience symptoms of depression, and an estimated 5% and 25% of women (200,000 to over a million) will suffer from postpartum depression every year.
Depression is bad for you-and your kids. It can lead to preeclampsia, preterm delivery, and low birth weight. If it goes untreated, your depression can adversely affect your infant's cognitive, neurologic, and motor skill development, and your older children's mental health and behavior.
While most OB/Gyns don't currently conduct routine screenings for depression among their pregnant patients, the College strongly urges that they begin to do so.
Are you feeling depressed? Have you talked to your doctor about it?