"If you only screen early or if you only screen once, you will miss some," said Linda Chaudron, M.D., an assistant professor of psychiatry, pediatrics and obstetrics and gynecology at the Medical Center who is leading a series of studies focusing on postpartum depression.
In a recent analysis of records from a pediatric clinic that uses a common postpartum questionnaire to screen mothers, Chaudron and the research group found that of women who scored high on a depression screening scale sometime in the postpartum year, 26 percent did not develop high symptom levels of postpartum depression until after three months and that 33 percent had high levels throughout the year. The results of the study are published in the July/August issue of the journal Ambulatory Pediatrics.
"I was surprised at the high percentage of women who continued to be depressed throughout the year," Chaudron said.
Earlier this year, New Jersey Governor Jon S. Corzine signed legislation requiring health care professionals providing postnatal care to screen new mothers for postpartum depression, and requiring health care professionals to educate women and their families about the disorder. Health care providers in several other states have adopted similar screening programs.
"With the increased attention to screening, we ought to have a better idea about when to screen," Chaudron said. "There are a lot more women we need to be thinking about, identifying and helping get treatment."
Pediatricians and other physicians who refer mothers for treatment of depression also can help track how mothers are doing, even if they are in treatment.
"They should find out how the mother is doing and whether she is receiving the proper treatment," Chaudron said.
The study reported in Ambulatory Pediatrics was limited. The records covered only 49 mothers. But Chaudron said the report highlighted that women can develop new symptoms later in the year and can continue to have symptoms for many months.
According to the American Psychiatric Association, symptoms of postpartum depression include sadness, sluggishness, fatigue, feelings of hopelessness, disturbances of sleep or appetite, lack of interest in the baby, uncontrollable crying, mood swings and fear of harming the baby. Many mothers also report significant anxiety. Postpartum depression is different from "baby blues," a mild, short-lived depression that many women experience in the first few days or weeks following childbirth. Postpartum depression affects one in eight women and lasts more than two weeks. It can interfere with daily living for a longer period of time.
Medication and talk therapy are effective treatments for postpartum depression. "Support groups also can decrease the isolation and stigma that depressed mothers can feel," Chaudron said.
Understanding postpartum depression is critical to improving care for mothers and infants. Chaudron and her colleagues currently are conducting a variety of studies, including looking at the course of postpartum depression, exploring the relationship between postpartum depression and anxiety, and investigating the use of an antidepressant for the treatment of postpartum depression.
Michael Wentzel | EurekAlert!
World first: Massive thrombosis removed during early pregnancy
20.07.2017 | Universitätsspital Bern
Therapy of preterm birth in sight?
19.07.2017 | Universitätsspital Bern
Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.
For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...
What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.
To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...
The research team of Prof. Dr. Oliver Einsle at the University of Freiburg's Institute of Biochemistry has long been exploring the functioning of nitrogenase....
A one trillion tonne iceberg - one of the biggest ever recorded -- has calved away from the Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica, after a rift in the ice,...
Physics supports biology: Researchers from PTB have developed a model system to investigate friction phenomena with atomic precision
Friction: what you want from car brakes, otherwise rather a nuisance. In any case, it is useful to know as precisely as possible how friction phenomena arise –...
21.07.2017 | Event News
19.07.2017 | Event News
12.07.2017 | Event News
21.07.2017 | Earth Sciences
21.07.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering
21.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy