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New research believes that PPD can be prevented

Image via Getty / Jose Luis Pelaez Inc.

Doctors should give advice to vulnerable women, even if they are still pregnant.

If you suffer from postpartum depression, you know the feelings of fear and anger, physical pain and sadness can consume everything. But there is good news for women in the future as well – they may get help before they get the symptoms while women are still pregnant.

One in seven women suffers from postpartum depression, according to a study. This week, the American Medical Association's (JAMA) Journal of the United States' Prevention Services Task Force published recommendations that physicians should "advise pregnant and postnatal people at risk of perinatal depression for counseling interventions."

Detecting women suffering from depression and Treatment As with cognitive-behavioral and interpersonal therapy, it is hoped that some of these women may not develop PPD or have fewer symptoms than women who do not receive treatment.

Some risk factors to watch out for are pregnant or postpartum women with a history of depression, teenage mothers, mothers of multiples, family history of depression and minimal social support, among other factors.

Postpartum depression is a serious and often untreated problem that affects new mothers. According to the CDC, every ninth woman suffers from the disease (and even one in five, depending on location and socioeconomic status). For those affected, this can be a debilitating and life-changing experience. [19659005] As recent recommendations in @JAMA_current urge previous psychotherapeutic interventions for 1-in-7 neonates with postpartum #depression the ministry of #ONhealth It becomes be necessary to finance this additional contribution #mentalhealth to ensure the safety of families. https://t.co/o5H2wzbRTg[19659008-JavedAlloo(@javedalloo) February 13, 2019

"We can prevent this devastating disease and it is time we did it," he says clinical psychologist and researcher Karina Davidson, who is a member of the task force and has helped write the recommendations.

After the second pregnancy after birth I had a depression that hit me like a freight train. It felt unexpected because I had no problems with my first child and I did not know how bad it was until one day I walked through a park and cried. I remember thinking so clearly, "I'll leave him here." I did not feel like I could talk to anyone, and I thought I was a complete failure as a mother. Postpartum depression is isolating, frightening and was not something that my doctor asked me before or after giving birth.

There is not much at stake for mothers. According to a study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (JAACAP): "Exposure to maternal early and chronic depression increases a child's susceptibility to psychopathology and social-emotional problems, including social withdrawal clearly, bad regulation of emotions and less empathy for others.

"We can prevent this devastating disease, and it is time we did it," said researcher Karina Davidson, who is a member of the task force and has helped write the recommendations. "We actually have evidence that if you find women who are not currently depressed, but have depression during pregnancy or within one year of birth, behavioral counseling can help prevent it."

There's more to be done Doctors may help identify specific women who may be predisposed to developing specific outpatient screening, but this recommendation (and attendant attention) is a big step in the right direction.

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