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Depression during pregnancy and in the first 2 years of being a mother
26 Jan 2013

Information from the 2010 Australian National Infant Feeding Survey has recently been released. This showed that 1 in 5 mothers of children aged 24 months or less had been diagnosed with depression. This represents an estimated 111,000 Australian mothers with young children being diagnosed with depression.

Perinatal depression was more commonly reported among mothers who:

  • were younger (aged under 25)
  • were smokers
  • came from lower income households
  • spoke English at home
  • were overweight or obese
  • had an emergency caesarean section.

The perinatal period extends from when pregnancy begins to the first year after the baby is born. The term perinatal depression includes a wide range of mood disorders that can affect a woman during pregnancy and after the birth of her child. It includes prenatal depression, the 'baby blues', postpartum depression and postpartum psychosis.

There is more information about perinatal depression in the topics:

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2012 'Perinatal depression: Data from the 2010 Australian National Infant Feeding Survey':