Why is it important to address perinatal depression?
Perinatal depression affects at least 1 in 5 childbearing women. Defined as depression occurring during pregnancy or within the first 12 months after delivery, perinatal depression is the most frequent form of maternal illness during pregnancy and following delivery, making it a major public health concern. Symptoms of perinatal depression last for more than 2 weeks, and can cause significant impairment in daily functioning. After giving birth, between 3 and 8 women out of 10 may experience “Baby Blues”, or postpartum blues, which includes a mild mood shift lasting less than 2 weeks, occurring within 1 week after giving birth.
Perinatal depression is a significant health concern that is consistently associated with negative maternal and child health outcomes, including: poor mother-child interaction, young child behavioral and learning difficulties, and less compliance with preventive healthcare.