New Mothers Should be Screened for Depression

Pregnancy is expected to be an exciting time in a women’s’ life, but it also comes with challenges. All moms and moms-to-be must get the best mental health, suggests a new study published today in Mortality and Morbidity Weekly Report MMWR, Centre for Disease Control And Prevention (CDC).

Timely screening of all expected women immediately before and after childbirth (perinatal) can upsurge the identification of women who are experiencing depression and ensure provision of required care and recommendation for suitable treatment and diagnosis as well as follow-up care.

The study showed that over 13% of the examined women with the history of recent childbirth, who were surveyed, reported that they experienced postpartum depression symptoms at the time of their postpartum period. The study revealed that 1 in 5 women did not report the health care provider about the considerable postpartum depression, whereas, 1 in 8 women were not even asked about the possible postpartum depression symptoms by health care providers during their postpartum hospital visits.

Perinatal depression is remarkably common in women. The global prevalence of self-reported postpartum depression symptoms varies from a woman to woman with respect to locations and maternal as well as infant physiognomies. It is not clear whether health care providers interrogate women regarding postpartum depression. According to CDC, over 10 to 15% of the women experience postpartum depression within their first year after the delivery.

Percentage of women with symptoms of depression after birth varies by state. –CDC

Perinatal depression is a pregnancy associated complication; it is a type of depression that affects new mother after delivery and is linked with poor maternal and infect health outcomes. Common symptoms include anxious and sad mood, mood swings, pessimism, feeling worthless and helpless, restlessness, loss of energy, loss of appetite, insomnia, sleeping problems, aches, pains, and suicidal attempts. Worldwide screening of pregnant women for postpartum depression is recommended.

However, it is very common to have metal health problems during pregnancy. Depression and mental health conditions are reported to cause an estimated 9% of mortality among child-bearing women. Postpartum depression is correlated with a reduced rate of initiating breastfeeding, failed maternal – infant bonding and affection, and elevated chances of delayed development in babies. Should it left untreated, it may consequently cause eating, sleeping, and behavioral problems affecting both mother and child adversely.

The Postpartum Depression Study

In this study, the CDC investigated the data from 2018 retrieved from the Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System to explain the postpartum depression symptoms among females with recent live childbirth. The study analyzed whether the health care providers investigate about the mental health of child-bearing women during their prenatal and postpartum hospital visits.

The results showed that among 31 places, over 13.2 % postpartum depression symptoms were prevalent, ranging from 9.7% in Illinois to 23.5% Mississippi. The occurance rate of postpartum depression elevated among young females who were aged less than 19 or under 18 in Alaska Native or American Indian. The underlying causes of higher prevalence in this group are habits of smoking, history of violence, intimate and physical abuse from partners, and self-reported depression before, during, and after the pregnancy. Another reported factor is death of infant at the time of birth. Over 79.1 % of the women reported that they were asked by their health care providers about postpartum depression during their healthcare visits. It ranged from over 51.3% in Puerto Rice to 90.7% in Alaska. The overall prevalence of healthcare provider asking women about postpartum depression symptoms post-delivery was 87.4%.

Previously, professional clinical organizations recommended addressing the issues of prenatal depression symptoms during and after the delivery. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) strongly emphasizes the need for screening of postpartum depression among women by healthcare provider as it will considerably improve the interventions to deliver the baby safely safeguarding health of both mother and child.

Source: RPC

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