When is screening for postpartum depression indicated?

Updated: Oct 11, 2019
  • Author: Saju Joy, MD, MS; Chief Editor: Christine Isaacs, MD  more...
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Answer

Despite multiple contacts with medical professionals during the postpartum period, patients and their caregivers often overlook postpartum affective illness. Too often, postpartum depression is dismissed as a normal or natural consequence of childbirth. [2, 24, 25] In fact, women commonly report the persistence of depressive symptoms for many months before the initiation of treatment. Although symptoms of depression may remit spontaneously, many women are still depressed 1 year after childbirth. [1, 3, 26, 27]

Screening of all mothers during the antepartum and postpartum period is indicated. [5, 9, 26, 28, 29, 30] Screening women for depressive symptoms during pregnancy may also help to identify those women at higher risk for postpartum depression. [2]


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