Risk Factors

Many risk factors for developing mood and/or anxiety during pregnancy or the postpartum period have been identified. 

Major risk factors:

  • Current diagnosis of depression or anxiety or past history
  • History of perinatal depression or anxiety
  • Family history of depression, anxiety or psychiatric illness (especially during pregnancy or postpartum)

Other contributing risk factors:

  • Lack of social support 
  • Life stress – recent move, poor relationships, losses
  • Language issues
  • Domestic violence
  • Excessive anxiety during pregnancy
  • Unintended pregnancy
  • Ambivalence towards the pregnancy
  • Financial stress
  • Smoking and caffeine intake
  • Single status, living by self
  • Health problems or difficult temperaments with baby or other children
  • Chronic health problems, pregnancy/delivery complications
  • Discontinuing or decreasing antidepressant medication
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