Depression During Pregnancy and Postpartum

  • Madeleine BeckerEmail author
  • Tal Weinberger
  • Ann Chandy
  • Sarah Schmukler
Complex Medical-Psychiatric Issues (MB Riba, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Complex Medical-Psychiatric Issues


Depression is a common complication of pregnancy and the postpartum period. There are multiple risk factors for peripartum mood disorders, most important of which is a prior history of depression. Both depression and antidepressant medications confer risk upon the infant. Maternal depression has been associated with preterm birth, low birth weight, fetal growth restriction, and postnatal cognitive and emotional complications. Antidepressant exposure has been associated with preterm birth, reductions in birth weight, persistent pulmonary hypertension, and postnatal adaptation syndrome (PNAS) as well as a possible connection with autism spectrum disorder. Paroxetine has been associated with cardiac malformations. Most antidepressant medications are excreted in low levels in breast milk and are generally compatible with breastfeeding. The use of antidepressants during pregnancy and postpartum must be weighed against the risk of untreated depression in the mother.


Depression Pregnancy Postpartum depression Antidepressants Lactation 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Madeleine Becker, Tal Weinberger, Ann Chandy, and Sarah Schmukler declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of Importance •• Of Major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Madeleine Becker
    • 1
    Email author
  • Tal Weinberger
    • 2
  • Ann Chandy
    • 1
  • Sarah Schmukler
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry and Human BehaviorThomas Jefferson University HospitalPhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.Department of Psychiatry and Human BehaviorThomas Jefferson University HospitalPhiladelphiaUSA

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