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Perinatal depression screening

Check in on your mental health

While your provider may focus your prenatal appointments on your physical health, your mental health is just as important during your pregnancy. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that obstetric providers screen patients for depression at least once during the pregnancy. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 20% of pregnant women were not asked about depression during a prenatal visit. Perinatal depression is serious, under-recognized and treatable. It is different than the “Baby Blues” which can happen within two to three days after giving birth and go away within a few weeks.

What to watch out for

perinatal depression screeningThe Cleveland Clinic states depression affects 10-20% of women during pregnancy. Sometimes the symptoms of depression may be confused as symptoms of pregnancy, and not everyone experiences depression in the same way. It’s also important to remember that no two pregnancies are the same. Even if you didn’t experience depression in previous pregnancy, it’s possible your next one may be different. If you have had postpartum depression before, you are more likely to get it again. Depression can have serious consequences. The good news is that treatment such as medication and/or therapy can help many feel better.

Here are the symptoms the CDC lists as signs of depression:

  • Feeling sad or anxious often or all the time
  • Losing interest in activities that used to be fun
  • Feeling irritable‚ easily frustrated or restless
  • Having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep
  • Waking up too early or sleeping too much
  • Eating more or less than usual or having no appetite
  • Experiencing aches, pains, headaches or stomach problems that do not improve with treatment
  • Having trouble concentrating, remembering details or making decisions
  • Feeling tired‚ even after sleeping well
  • Feeling guilty, worthless or helpless
  • Thinking about suicide or hurting yourself

Talk to your provider

Talk to your provider about screening for depression during and after your pregnancy – especially if you start to experience any of the symptoms above. Your provider should do further assessment if the screen shows you are at risk. If you are already diagnosed with depression, make sure you discuss this with all your providers, and let them know which providers you are seeing, so that they can better coordinate your care to make sure that you have a smooth pregnancy. If you plan to breastfeed, you should discuss any medications you take with your provider as some medicines may be transferred though breast milk and can be harmful to your baby.

Pregnancy Resources

Log in to the member portal at, hover over the Health & Wellness tab and select Pregnancy Support for information on how stay healthy during and after pregnancy.


Posted: February 16, 2022