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Postpartum Depression Can Be Serious

Postpartum Depression Can Be Serious  A new clinical report encourages physicians to screen for postpartum depression as the disorder can have grave consequences for both mother and child.

According to researchers, maternal postpartum depression can have serious adverse effects on the mother and child relationship, resulting in an environment that can disrupt the infant’s development.

Infants who live in a neglectful or depressed setting are likely to show delays in development and impaired social interaction.

In the report, pediatric practices are encouraged to screen mothers for postpartum depression, to use community resources for the treatment and referral of the depressed mother, and to provide support for the mother-child relationship.

Estimated rates of depression among pregnant and postpartum women can range between 5 percent and 25 percent.

A family history of depression, alcohol abuse and a personal history of depression increase the risk of perinatal depression.

A prenatal visit in the pediatric medical home is an excellent opportunity to establish a relationship with the parents, assess for risk of depression and supports, and initiate preventive strategies.

Postpartum depression can lead to increased medical costs, inappropriate medical care, discontinuation of breastfeeding and child abuse and neglect. Screening is recommended and is considered a “best practice” in caring for infants and their families.

The report, issued by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is entitled “Incorporating Recognition and Management of Perinatal and Postpartum Depression Into Pediatric Practice.” It is published in the November print issue of the journal Pediatrics.

Source: American Academy of Pediatrics

Postpartum Depression Can Be Serious

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2018). Postpartum Depression Can Be Serious. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 22, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Aug 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Aug 2018
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