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Continuing Medical Education

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Anxiety disorders in pregnancy and the postnatal period

B Vythilingum

Abstract


There is a growing realisation that many women suffer from either new onset or worsening of existing anxiety disorders during pregnancy and postnatally (the perinatal period).1 The occurrence of an anxiety disorder during this time has important consequences – it not only impacts on the woman’s mental health, but also increases the risk of other postnatal disorders, as well as having possible effects on the unborn child.2 In this article I will briefly discuss the epidemiology of anxiety disorders in pregnancy and postnatally. I will then focus on the clinical presentation of these disorders and management issues that are specific to pregnancy and the postnatal period.



AJOL African Journals Online