A new evidence report by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
(AHRQ) has found that depression is as common in women during pregnancy as
it is after giving birth. The report stated that approximately 5% of women
in the United States who are pregnant or have given birth in the past 12 months
have major depression. When minor depression is taken into consideration,
as many as 13% of women experience perinatal depression.
“The belief that depression is mostly a problem for women following
childbirth is a myth stemming from the fact that postpartum depression has
been studied more thoroughly,” stated AHRQ director Carolyn M. Clancy,
MD. Perinatal depression may be unrecognized because symptoms such as trouble
sleeping and emotional changes may also occur with pregnancy.
Hampton T. Depression in Pregnant Women. JAMA. 2005;293(24):2992. doi:10.1001/jama.293.24.2992-c