Swept Under the Carpet: The Psychological Side of Maternal Health

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By: Carley Chavara, Intern, Environmental Change and Security Program, The Wilson Center

In high-income countries, as many as 10 to 15 percent of women experience depression, anxiety, or other non-psychotic mental health challenges during pregnancy or the year after giving birth. In developing countries, the chances rise to 16 percent of pregnant women and 20 percent of post-natal women, according to Jane Fisher, professor of women’s health at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. Despite the prevalence of these so-called perinatal common mental health disorders (PCMDs), they remain extremely underreported and undertreated. “We have a huge problem that has been kept under the carpet and it is just beginning to emerge,” said Dr. Ricardo Araya of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine at the Wilson Center on April 9… read more