Postpartum Depression : Prevention And Screening

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Postpartum Depression: Prevention and Screening Postpartum depression (PPD) affects at least 10-20% of new mothers. However, the true incidence may be much higher due to the fact that screening is not considered to be a standard practice, leaving PPD undetected and untreated in many women (Schaar & Hall, 2014). Postpartum depression not only negatively affects the mother; it also has a negative impact on the infant. For this reason, it is important for the health care providers caring for pregnant and postpartum mothers to screen them for risk factors associated with PPD, as well as educate them on ways to lessen their chances of getting PPD. It is also important for the health care providers to screen for PPD with a standardized tool like the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS), and to take action in treating it when it is suspected or diagnosed. The presence of risk factors does not guarantee that a woman will experience PPD, but it may indicate that the health care provider should pay a little more attention to possible signs and symptoms of depression. Known risk factors include depression or other mental illness prior to, and during, pregnancy, a family history of depression or other mental health disorders, a history of substance abuse, the age of the mother, financial concerns, lack of a support system, and being a single parent (Camp, 2013). In the presence of risk factors it is important for the health care provider to educate the woman on ways to
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