psychiatric disease during pregnancy

Last reviewed 01/2018

Psychiatric problems are common at the beginning and end of pregnancy:

  • first trimester of the pregnancy:
    • unwanted pregnancy may cause anxiety and depression
    • hyperemesis gravidarum
    • pseudocyesis and Couvade syndrome
    • reaction to termination or miscarriage
    • anxiety about genetic screening

  • third trimester of the pregnancy:
    • anxiety about labour or parenthood
    • fears about the normality of the foetus

Psychiatric disease during pregnancy is more common in those women with a previous psychiatric history.

Psychiatric disease often interferes with the continuity of ante-natal care.

Care should be taken when prescribing drugs to pregnant women.