Depression during childbearing is a major public health concern. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality estimated that 14.5% of women develop depressive episodes during pregnancy and a similar percentage develop depression in the first 3 months following birth. The agency commented that the "specifics of the course of a depressive illness with onset during the perinatal period, including the severe physiologic and psychological challenges unique to this period that complicate the identification and management of perinatal depression, seem to suggest that this topic would have a substantial degree of high-quality research.
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