Approximately 11% of pregnant women suffer from major depression which requires treatment and if left untreated there are risks of preterm delivery or low birth weight. The initial difficulty lies in diagnosing the depression itself, as many symptoms of depression can be ascribed to the pregnancy. A further challenge is choosing the appropriate therapy. Treatment options are psychotherapy, antidepressants, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) or the new possibility of light therapy. A growing number of reports on the side effects of antidepressants in pregnancy have led to uncertainties as to how to proceed. Thus, choosing the most suitable treatment needs to be made together with the pregnant woman and a careful clarification of possible risks attendant on each treatment option is essential.
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