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Updates in Women's Health: Depression and Anxiety During Pregnancy and Postpartum

Activity Type:

  • On Demand

Release Date: 5/1/2016

Expiration Date: 5/1/2022

  • AMA PRA Category 1: 0.5
  • Participation: 0.5



Depression and anxiety are common in pregnancy and in the postpartum period. Untreated psychiatric illness during and after pregnancy has been associated with adverse effects on the mother and the baby. Despite this, many women are either undertreated, or untreated, as doctors may be hesitant to recommend medications to pregnant or lactating mothers. Subsequently, women may not be well informed of the risks and benefits associated with the use of taking medications during pregnancy.

**This content was captured at the 2015 APA Annual Meeting and may reference information from various sources and terminology from previous editions of the DSM.

Please note the following updates since the presentation of this information at the 2015 APA Annual Meeting:

  1. Peripartum: DSM-5 includes “peripartum” onset as a specifier for “Major Depressive Disorders” that can be applied to the current or, if full criteria are not currently met for a major depressive episode, most recent episode of major depression if onset of mood symptoms occurs during pregnancy or in the 4 weeks following delivery. Fifty percent of “postpartum” major depressive episodes actually begin prior to delivery and are therefore referred to collectively as peripartum episodes. For more information on peripartum and postpartum onset specifiers, please reference the DSM-5 (pp. 186-187). 
  2. PLLR Rule: Effective June 30, 2015, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued the final “Pregnancy and Lactation Labeling Rule” (PLLR) to replace the product letter categories – A, B, C, D and X – used to classify the risks of using prescription drugs during pregnancy. For more information on PLLR, please visit the FDA website “Pregnancy and Lactation Labeling (Drugs) Final Rule.” 


FREE - $0

Funding for this initiative was made possible (in part) by Grant No. 1H79SM080818-01 from SAMHSA. The views expressed in written conference materials or publications and by speakers and moderators do not necessarily reflect the official policies of the Department of Health and Human Services; nor does mention of trade names, commercial practices, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government. (Effective January 1, 2019)

Educational Objectives

  • Discuss the impact of untreated depression and anxiety disorders in pregnancy and postpartum
  • Summarize data on the safety of antidepressant/anxiolytic medication use in pregnancy and lactation
  • Discuss treatment decision-making to help guide the practitioner and educate the patient

Target Audience

Residents/Fellows, Psychiatrists

Estimated Time to Complete

Estimated Duration: 0.5 hours
Program Start: May 1, 2016 
Program End: May  1, 2022

How to Earn Credit

Participants who wish to earn AMA PRA Category 1 Credit ™ or a certificate of participation may do so by completing all sections of the course including the evaluation. A multiple choice quiz is provided based on the content. A passing score of 100% must be achieved. Retakes are available for the test. After evaluating the program, course participants will be provided with an opportunity to claim hours of participation and print an official CME certificate (physicians) or certificate of participation (non-physicians) showing the date of completion and hours earned. 

Continuing Education Credit

The American Psychiatric Association (APA) is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The APA designates this enduring material for a maximum of 0.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Faculty and Planner Disclosures


  • Madeleine Becker, M.D., Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. Reports no financial relationships with commercial interests. Reports no financial relationships with commercial interests.

Program Planners

  • Tristan Gorrindo, M.D., Director of Education, American Psychiatric Association. Reports no financial relationships with commercial interests
  • Ranna Parekh, M.D., M.P.H., Director of Division of Diversity and Health Equity. Reports no financial relationships with commercial interests.
  • Jon Fanning, M.S., C.A.E., Chief of Membership and RFM-ECP, American Psychiatric Association. Reports no financial relationships with commercial interests
  • Stephanie Auditore, J.D., Director of Member Product Developmpent, Engagement & Portfolio Management, American Psychiatric Association. Reports no financial relationships with commercial interests
  • Ricardo A. Juarez, M.S., Associate Director, Office of International Affairs, American Psychiatric Association. Reports no financial relationships with commercial interests

Accessibility for Participants with Disabilities

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Hardware/Software Requirements

This internet-based CME activity is best experienced using Internet Explorer 8+, Mozilla Firefox 3+, Safari 4+. This website requires that JavaScript and session cookies be enabled. Certain activities may require additional software to view multimedia, presentation, or printable versions of the content. These activities will be marked as such and will provide links to the required software. That software may be: Adobe Flash, Adobe Acrobat, Microsoft PowerPoint, and Windows Media Player.

Optimal System Configuration

  • Flash Player: Adobe Flash Player 10.3+ 
  • Browser: Firefox (latest version), Internet Explorer 8.0+, Safari 7.0+, Microsoft Edge (latest version) or Google Chrome (latest version)
  • Operating System: Windows XP+ or Mac OS X 10.4+ 
  • Internet Connection: 1 Mbps or higher

Minimum Requirements

  • Windows PC: 500-MHz Pentium II; Windows XP or higher; 128 MB RAM; Video Card at least 64MB of video memory; Macromedia Flash Player 10.3 or higher; Sound Card at least 16-bit; audio playback with speakers for programs with video content
  • Macintosh:Mac OS X 10.4+ or higher with latest updates installed; 1.83MHz Intel Core Duo or faster; RAM: 128MB or more; Video Card: at least 64MB of video memory; Sound Card: at least 16-bit; audio playback with speakers for programs with video content

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