Mood Disorders in Pregnancy

  • Kara Brown
  • Dylan Kathol


As one of the most common complications during pregnancy and the postpartum, perinatal mood disorders have become the subject of increasing attention and concern over the past decade. This growing awareness has led to new legislation at the local, national, and international levels as both patients and providers become more attuned to the impact of untreated perinatal mental illness on women and their families. Providing care for these patients is often of multidisciplinary concern because many women may not have a primary mental health provider and are instead seen by their obstetricians, internists, pediatricians, and family practitioners who then share in the burden of identifying and caring for these vulnerable women. In this chapter, we discuss the wide variation in mood changes women can experience, from the mild baby blues, which is not a discrete mood disorder, to perinatal depression and bipolar disorder as well as postpartum psychosis. We review the current literature and guidelines concerning screening pregnant and postpartum women, and we discuss unique treatment considerations for this population.


Pregnancy Postpartum Perinatal Depression Bipolar Mood disorders Psychosis 



American Academy of Pediatrics


American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists


Cognitive behavioral therapy


Corticotropin-releasing hormone


Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale


Electroconvulsive therapy




Extrapyramidal symptoms


First-generation antipsychotics




Interpersonal psychotherapy


Major congenital malformations


Mood Disorder Questionnaire




Patient Health Questionnaire


Postnatal adaptation syndrome


Relative infant dose


Second generation antipsychotics


Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors


Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors


Tricyclic antidepressants


World Health Organization


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kara Brown
    • 1
  • Dylan Kathol
    • 2
  1. 1.Southeast Louisiana Verterans Health Care SystemNew OrleansUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychiatryNorthShore University Health SystemEvanstonUSA

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