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Health Agencies Update
June 22/29, 2005

Depression in Pregnant Women

JAMA. 2005;293(24):2992. doi:10.1001/jama.293.24.2992-c

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.

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