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- The objective of this research is to evaluate the commonly prescribed treatment methods for prenatal and postnatal depression, focusing on the efficacy of antidepressant medications and nonpharmacologic treatments while evaluating the effects these medications have on the fetus/breastfeeding infant.

- The method of research included 15 studies completed within the past ten years on women who were pregnant or who had delivered a baby within the past 12 months. One study did evaluate long-term effects on offspring, which included a participant number of 3,342 children who were exposed to antidepressants during pregnancy. The total number of participants in the studies were 8,069 women.

- Limitations within the data are due to small sample sizes in several of the studies and few available studies that directly evaluate this population of women and children.

- Data results suggest that while cognitive group therapy does provide depression symptom improvement in prenatal and postnatal depression and anxiety, antidepressant medications tend to have a positive effect earlier in treatment. Unfortunately, many of these antidepressant medications have also been proven to have both short and long tern effects on the offspring exposed to pharmacologic treatment.


Physician Assistant Studies

Degree Name

Master of Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS)

Publication Date



pregnancy; prenatal; perinatal; depression; treatment; anxiety; antidepressants; postpartum


Psychiatric and Mental Health

Treating Peri and Postnatal Depression & Anxiety