Postpartum Depression And Its Effects On Women

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Postpartum Depression According to two recent studies, 7-13% of all postpartum women suffer from depression. Even more alarming, the prevalence of postpartum depression (PPD) in mothers who have pre-term infants rises to 30-40% according to a recent review (Robertson E, Grace S, Wallington T, Stewart DE., 2004; Schmied V, Johnson M, Naidoo N, et al., 2013). Mood and anxiety disorders, specifically PPD, are severe, yet common complications in women of reproductive age. Undertreated depression in postpartum women is associated with health risks for both the mother and infant, making the goal of euthymia a top priority in the care of postpartum women. Current practice regarding PPD focuses on the triad approach of early detection and prevention, the use of pharmacotherapy, and the use of psychotherapy. However, the treatment of mental illness during pregnancy requires weighing the benefits of pharmacological treatment for the mother, to the risk of the medications on the growth and development of the fetus as well as the theoretical risks associated with undertreated depression. However, many studies are showing that the risks of postpartum depression to both the mother and infant significantly outweigh the risks of pharmacological treatment during pregnancy. Also, due to the ethical issues surrounding trials of pharmacotherapy during pregnancy, further research to determine evidenced-based methods of treatment are still necessary. The most important intervention to date is a
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