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Postpartum Depression Blog

Related terms: Depression, Postnatal, Depression, Postpartum, Postnatal Depression, PDD, PND, Postnatal

Postpartum Depression Often Linked to Long-Term Woes, Review Suggests

Posted 16 Jan 2014 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Jan. 16, 2014 – Up to half of women with postpartum depression – a mood disorder that can occur after childbirth – develop long-term depression, according to a new review. The findings show the need for doctors to closely monitor women with postpartum depression, said the researchers, from the University of Leuven, in Belgium. Parental depression can harm a child's long-term development, they said. The study also underscores the importance of ongoing support during early childhood and beyond, the researchers said. "Clinicians need to be aware of mothers' previous episodes of depression and possible contextual factors heightening vulnerability for a chronic course of depression," the researchers said in a news release from the Harvard Review of Psychiatry. The study was published in the journal's January issue. For the report, the authors examined studies on postpartum ... Read more

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Depression During Pregnancy May Raise Risk of Psychiatric Trouble in Kids

Posted 9 Oct 2013 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 9 – Teens are more likely to experience depression at age 18 if their mothers were depressed during pregnancy, a new study finds. The analysis of data from more than 4,500 parents and their teen children in the United Kingdom also found that the risk of depression was higher among the children of mothers with low levels of education who had depression after giving birth – postpartum depression. The study was published online Oct. 9 in the journal JAMA Psychiatry. "The findings have important implications for the nature and timing of interventions aimed at preventing depression in the offspring of depressed mothers," study author Rebecca Pearson, of the University of Bristol, said in a journal news release. "In particular, the findings suggest that treating depression in pregnancy, irrespective of background, may be most effective." Depression in the late teens is a ... Read more

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Postpartum Depression Risk May Rise for New Moms in Big Cities

Posted 6 Aug 2013 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Aug. 6 – New mothers who live in large cities are more likely to suffer postpartum depression than those in other areas, a new study finds. Researchers analyzed data from more than 6,400 women living in different parts of Canada and found that 7.5 percent of them said they had experienced postpartum depression, in the study published Aug. 6 in the CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal). Women in large cities (500,00 or more people) had the greatest risk at 10 percent, compared with 7 percent for those in semi-rural areas (less than 30,000 people), 6 percent for those in rural areas (less than 1,000 people) and 5 percent for those in semi-urban areas (30,000 to 499,000 people), according to a journal news release. "The risk factors for postpartum depression [including history of depression, social support and immigration status] that were unequally distributed across ... Read more

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Genes May Boost Woman's Risk of Postpartum Depression

Posted 21 May 2013 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, May 21 – Pregnant women with specific alterations in two genes may be at increased risk of suffering depression after giving birth, a small new study suggests. The researchers hope they can use the findings to develop a blood test that could help spot pregnant women who are vulnerable to postpartum depression, which affects around 15 percent of new mothers. Their study, reported in the May 21 issue of the journal Molecular Psychiatry, uncovered specific chemical changes in two genes that predicted which women would develop postpartum depression with 85 percent accuracy. Little is known about the genes, called TTC9B and HP1BP3, but they are somehow involved in activity in the brain's hippocampus, which regulates mood. Based on animal research, both genes seem to be "reactive to estrogen," said Zachary Kaminsky, a researcher at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in ... Read more

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Anxiety May Be More Common Than Depression After Pregnancy

Posted 4 Mar 2013 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, March 4 – Anxiety is far more common in the days after childbirth than depression, with nearly one in five new mothers reporting acute mental stress surrounding delivery and the transition to a larger family, a new study suggests. Researchers also found that anxious new mothers were more likely to cut short breast-feeding efforts and seek out additional medical care for themselves within two weeks of delivery. "Postpartum depression has gotten a lot more attention than anxiety ... but it's anxiety that's an acute concern and affects so many aspects of the hospital stay and postpartum course," said study author Dr. Ian Paul, a professor of pediatrics and public health sciences at the Penn State College of Medicine, in Hershey, Penn. "Childbirth tends not to be a depressing situation for a majority of women, but it is anxiety-provoking, especially for first-time moms." The study ... Read more

Related support groups: Anxiety, Depression, Anxiety and Stress, Postpartum Depression

Postpartum Depression May Lead to Shorter Kids: Study

Posted 10 Sep 2012 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Sept. 10 – Children of mothers who suffer from persistent postpartum depression are more likely to be very short at ages 4 and 5, new research finds. Researchers examined data on 10,700 children from the nationally representative U.S. Early Childhood Longitudinal Study Birth Cohort. The children were born in 2001 and followed through 2007. Children of mothers who were depressed during the first nine months of the child's life were 40 percent more likely to be at or below the 10th percentile for height at age 4, and 48 percent more likely to be at or below the 10th percentile for height at age 5 than children of mothers without depression. Percentile compares how children measure up to other children the same age. Being in the 10th percentile means that the child is shorter than 90 percent of his or her peers. "What we found is that mothers with higher levels of depressive ... Read more

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Mothers' Stress Could Cause Iron Deficiency in Newborns

Posted 30 Apr 2012 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, April 30 – Stress experienced by a mother during the first trimester of pregnancy can lead to iron deficiency in her newborn, putting the infant at risk for physical and mental development delays, a new study says. Iron is important in organ-system development, especially for the brain. Risk factors for iron deficiency in newborns include iron deficiency and diabetes in their mothers, as well as smoking during pregnancy. Preterm birth, low birth weight and multiple pregnancy are also well-known risk factors for low iron. This is the first study to suggest that stress experienced by mothers early in pregnancy is another risk factor for iron deficiency in newborns, according to the researchers. For the study, researchers looked at Israeli women who lived in an area where more than 600 rocket attacks took place during their first trimester of pregnancy. This stress group was ... Read more

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'Love Hormone' May Buffer Kids From Mom's Depression

Posted 9 Dec 2011 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Dec. 9 – Children born to mothers with postpartum depression are at increased risk for mental health problems, but a hormone called oxytocin may reduce the risk, according to a new study. Oxytocin, which is produced naturally in the body and has been associated with feelings of love and trust, may help protect kids from the negative effects of maternal depression, the researchers found. A synthetic version of the hormone is available as medication. In the study, Israeli researchers looked at 155 mother-child pairs. By the time they were 6 years old, 60 percent of children born to mothers who were consistently depressed for the first year after giving birth had mental health problems, mainly anxiety and conduct disorders. Among the 6-year-old children whose mothers did not have postpartum depression, only 15 percent had mental health problems, the investigators noted. The study ... Read more

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Depression, Partner Conflict Raise Suicide Risk for Pregnant Women, New Moms

Posted 2 Dec 2011 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Dec. 2 – Major depression and conflicts with intimate partners increase the risk of suicide among pregnant women and new mothers, a new study indicates. "We have a more complete picture now of who these women are and what led up to these tragic events," study author Dr. Katherine Gold, an assistant professor of family medicine at the University of Michigan Medical School, said in a university news release. "These deaths ripple through families and communities and cause a lot of sorrow and devastation." She and her colleagues analyzed 2,083 suicides among women aged 15 to 54 that were recorded over five years in the U.S. National Violent Death Reporting System. More than half of the women who killed themselves had a known mental health diagnosis. Nearly half were in a depressed mood prior to their suicide. "Previous research has shown that depressive disorders affect 14 to 23 ... Read more

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Mom-to-Be's Mental State May Affect Child's Development

Posted 17 Nov 2011 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Nov. 17 – A fetus is sensitive to, and can be affected by, the expectant mother's mental state, a new study suggests. University of California, Irvine, researchers recruited pregnant women and tested them for depression before and after they gave birth. The women's babies were tested after birth to assess how well they were developing. Consistency in the mother's mental state appeared to be important to a baby's well-being. Development was best in babies with mothers who were either depression-free or had depression before and after giving birth. Development was slower in babies born to mothers who went from depressed before birth to non-depressed after birth or from non-depressed before birth to depressed after birth, the investigators found. The researchers said they were surprised by the strength of the finding, which will be published in an upcoming issue of the journal ... Read more

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Health Tip: Are You at Risk for Post-Partum Depression?

Posted 12 Aug 2011 by Drugs.com

-- It's common for a woman to become depressed during or just after a pregnancy. The timing and specific symptoms tend to vary by person. The womenshealth.gov website mentions these risk factors for developing postpartum depression: Having had depression or another form of mental illness before pregnancy. Having a family history of depression or another mental illness. Lacking support from friends and family. Having negative or anxious feelings about being pregnant. Having had a prior pregnancy or delivery with complications. Being stressed about money or personal relationships. Engaging in substance abuse. Becoming pregnant at an early age. Read more

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Eating Disorders May Raise Risk of Depression in Pregnancy

Posted 22 Jun 2011 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, June 22 – Although depression strikes one in 10 women during pregnancy or shortly after giving birth, those who have had an eating disorder or suffered physical or sexual abuse are more likely to develop the condition, according to a new study. This means that screening for mental health problems should become a routine part of prenatal care, concluded researchers from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine. "Pregnancy and the postpartum period is a very vulnerable time for women" – and an ideal time for intervention, the study's lead author Dr. Samantha Meltzer-Brody, director of UNC's Perinatal Psychiatry Program, said in a university news release. The drastic changes in the shape of a woman's body – as well as her weight and hormone levels during a time of major life transition – can be especially difficult for those with a history of ... Read more

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Post-Partum Depression More Common in Abused Women

Posted 19 May 2011 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, May 19 – Hispanic women who suffer domestic abuse during or shortly before becoming pregnant have a fivefold increased risk of postpartum depression, U.S. researchers say. The findings suggest that intimate partner violence is a stronger predictor of postpartum depression than prenatal depression, which is generally regarded as the most significant risk factor. The study of 210 Hispanic women aged 18 and older in Los Angeles found that women who experienced domestic violence during pregnancy or within the 12 months prior to pregnancy were 5.4 times more likely to suffer postpartum depression than those who hadn't suffered recent abuse. The researchers also found that women who experienced prenatal depression were 3.5 times more likely to have postpartum depression than those who didn't experience prenatal depression. These findings indicate that pregnant women should be ... Read more

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Fish Oil Promising Against Postpartum Depression in Small Trial

Posted 13 Apr 2011 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, April 12 – Consuming omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil capsules during pregnancy may reduce a woman's risk of postpartum depression, according to a new study. Researchers looked at 52 pregnant women who took either a placebo or a fish oil capsule containing 300 milligrams of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) five days a week each week from weeks 24 to 40 of pregnancy. DHA is a prominent omega-3 fatty acid. After the babies were born, the researchers assessed the women for postpartum depression symptoms, such as sleeping and eating problems, anxiety, emotional issues, confusion, guilt, loss of self and thoughts of suicide. There weren't enough women in the study to determine if consuming DHA resulted in a lower incidence of postpartum depression. But women who took the fish oil capsules had significantly fewer symptoms of postpartum depression than those who took the placebo, said Dr. ... Read more

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Brain-Imaging in Depressed Moms Shows Blunted Response to Crying Infant

Posted 28 Feb 2011 by Drugs.com

SATURDAY, Feb. 26 – Armed with brain scans, researchers have discovered bawling babies trigger a far more muted response in the brains of depressed mothers than in mothers who aren't depressed. Contrary to a previous theory, "it looks as though depressed mothers are not responding in a more negative way than non-depressed mothers. What we saw was really more of a lack of responding in a positive way," said study lead author Heidemarie K. Laurent in a news release from the University of Oregon. Laurent is an assistant professor at the University of Wyoming, but she worked on the study as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Oregon. The study, which appears online in the journal Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, is the first to examine how the brains of depressed women responded to the crying of babies. In total, the researchers studied the brains of 22 women using ... Read more

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