Depression during pregnancy and the postpartum period—Infographic
Depression in pregnancy and the postpartum period is a serious issue.
The Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care recommends against universal screening for depression using standardized tools, such as questionnaires with a cut off, with all pregnant and postpartum people (up to 1 year after birth)
What does this mean for clinicians?
- Do ask patients about their well-being as part of usual care
- Do practice good clinical judgment to detect potential depression
We recommend against using a standardized tool to screen every patient
- Do remain vigilant for depression
- Do use clinical judgment to decide on further steps
8% in pregnant and 9% postpartum people vs. 8% in nonpregnant people 1
Usual care vs screening:
- Depression is a serious issue – Ask patients about their well-being at visits
- Don’t use a screening tool with a cutoff score to detect depression with every patient
- Continue to use clinical judgement and remain vigilant to depression
- The evidence supporting instrument based screening over usual care is very uncertain.
- Implementing a universal screening program that has no proven benefit uses resources and takes away from other health concerns
- The Canada Suicide Prevention Service
- Quebec: 1 866 277 3553
- Postpartum Support International
- Your Life Counts
1 Vesga-López O, Blanco C, Keyes K, et al. Psychiatric disorders in pregnant and postpartum women in the United States. Arch Gen Psychiatry 2008;65:805-15.