Ties Found between Mood Disorder Episodes, Childbirth

Article excerpt


More than 70% of women with mood disorders who become pregnant experience at least one episode of their disorder in association with the birth or, less often, the pregnancy, according to a recent report.

Given that approximately 40% of all pregnancies are unplanned, the risk of perinatal episodes of mania, hypomania, psychotic depression, and nonpsychotic major depression should be discussed with all women of childbearing age who have mood disorders, even those who are not planning a pregnancy, said Dr. Ian Jones of the Institute of Psychological Medicine and Clinical Neurosciences at Cardiff (Wales) University and his associates.

In addition, "it is important that all professionals providing health care for pregnant women, including midwives, family physicians, and obstetricians, are aware of this increased risk," they wrote.

Dr. Jones and his colleagues assessed the occurrence of a range of psychological disorders associated with childbirth using data from two clinical and genetic studies of mood disorders.

One study cohort included 573 women with recurrent major depression occurring in 1998-2004, and the other included 980 women with bipolar I disorder and 232 with bipolar Il disorder occurring in 1991-2010.

Data were available regarding 3,017 pregnancies in 1,410 of these women. …


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