Send to

Choose Destination
J Psychiatry Neurosci. 2008 Jul;33(4):302-18.

Perinatal depression: treatment options and dilemmas.

Author information

Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University and the Women's Behavioral Health Program, Women and Infants Hospital, Providence, RI 02905, USA.


The treatment of depression during pregnancy and the postpartum period raises unique concerns about safety for the developing fetus and the infant. An increasing number of studies suggest adverse effects from untreated stress, anxiety and depression as well as adverse effects from antidepressant and other psychotropic medications. Even when studies suggest a lack of short-term adverse effects with some medications, the paucity of systematic longitudinal follow-up studies investigating the development of children exposed to medications during pregnancy and breastfeeding causes apprehension. This review's objective is to highlight what is currently known about the negative effects of untreated disease and exposure to psychotropic medication, the treatment dilemmas confronting women with perinatal depression and issues that future studies should address so that a woman with perinatal depression can make an optimally informed decision.


antidepressive agents; breastfeeding; depression; postpartum period; pregnancy

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for The Canadian Medical Association Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center