Psychiatry and Pregnancy

    Psychiatry is a part of medical sciences, which deals with studies and treatment of mental and emotional disorders. 

    A mental disorder or mental illness is a psychological pattern or anomaly, potentially reflected in behavior, that is generally associated with distress or disability, and which is not considered part of normal development of a person's culture. Mental disorders are generally defined by a combination of how a person feels, acts, thinks or perceives. This may be associated with particular regions or functions of the brain or rest of the nervous system, often in a social context.

    Psychiatric or mental disorders are common in women of reproductive age. Pregnancy per se is not associated with increased risk of the most prevalent mental disorders, although the risk of major depressive disorder may be increased during the postpartum period. In one study, the prevalence of major depressive episodes (MDE) was 12.4% or 1 in 8 pregnant women. 

    Not pregnant? Do the interactive Zhung depression score and see your level of depression.

    Check your Edinburgh Postpartum Depression scale and assess if you need to see a psychiatrist.

    Psychiatric disorders and substance use during pregnancy are associated with adverse outcomes for mothers and their offspring. 

    Despite the morbidity associated with these disorders, there has been a tendency to avoid prescribing psychiatric medications during pregnancy. An expanding body of knowledge about the risks and benefits of these medications has made it possible to make more rational decisions about their use.  Growing evidence suggests that many of these agents are safe in pregnancy; however, there are some that clearly should be avoided.

    There are many different categories of mental disorder, and many different facets of human behavior and personality that can become disordered, and the causes of mental disorders are varied and in some cases unclear,