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Psychosocial and psychological interventions for treating antenatal depression

Dennis C-L, Ross LE, Grigoriadis S
Published Online: 
16 June 2010

Not enough evidence to say if non-drug interventions are effective in treating antenatal depression.

Although for many women pregnancy was once thought of as a time of emotional wellbeing, approximately 12% of women will suffer from antenatal depression. Research suggests that women who are on low-income, lack social support, experience significant stress or negative life events, and have poor relationships may be at higher risk of developing antenatal depression.
Unfortunately, depression during the pregnancy is related to poor maternal self-care behaviours, which may influence the baby's health, and it places a woman at significant risk of developing postpartum depression. Many women are unwilling to take medication during their pregnancy and are often interested in psychosocial and psychological interventions as a form of treatment. The review found only one trial involving 50 US women evaluating interpersonal psychotherapy for the treatment of antenatal depression. This trial provided insufficient evidence to determine if psychological therapies are effective treatment for antenatal depression. Further research is needed.