Your Health: Who is most at risk for postpartum depression?
LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Every year in the United States, 900,000 women suffer from postpartum depression.
It is the most common pregnancy complication, even higher than gestational diabetes and preeclampsia, which is serious high blood pressure.
The first days and weeks of snuggling a newborn is supposed to be an amazing time, but sometimes, women feel sad, and for some, those feelings linger.
Postpartum depression is dangerous, not only for the mom’s health, but for the baby’s as well.
“Postpartum depression has been shown to have effects on the baby’s IQ and language development,” said Dr. Jennifer Payne.
Women with postpartum depression are 20% more likely to die by suicide.
“Treating mom for postpartum depression is incredibly important to minimize those risks,” Payne said.
Payne and her colleagues analyzed the responses of one million new moms answering a health survey after childbirth.
“We found pretty definitively that twin pregnancies have a higher rate of postpartum depressive symptoms,” Payne said.
In fact, the researchers said women over 40 with twin pregnancies had the highest risk of developing PPD. Moms who were younger than 25, and moms pregnant for the first time also had a higher rate of depressive symptoms.
Dr. Payne said if doctors know a woman may be at higher risk, they can screen for the condition, and new moms can be aware of the signs so they can seek help. Dr. Payne also says doctors routinely screen about 99% of all pregnant women for gestational diabetes, but only about 40% of pregnant women are screened for PPD.
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