By On January 19th, 2007

Counseling can reduce postpartum depression

Postpartum depression is a serious issue for first time mothers. The affects of postpartum depression can be severe and lasting. Postpartum depression can turn into long-term depression for mothers. Infants whose mothers experience postpartum depression can suffer slowed development and decreased IQ. A recent study, however, by Brown University found that counseling decreased the risk of severe postpartum depression from 20 percent to four percent within the first three months after delivery. The following is a article by the Cincinnati Enquirer that discusses the study:

When Melinda walks into the prenatal clinic for her first visit. She’s seven months’ pregnant, 19 and alone. Melinda tells the nurse her lower back is aching and she can’t sleep more than three hours a night. Melinda’s troubles, already overwhelming, are about to multiply in ways she can’t bear to imagine. But the prenatal clinic staff has seen variations on Melinda’s story every day this week, every week of the year. Young, poor, first-time mothers with few resources and a family history of depression have a one in five chance of developing major depression in the first few months after the baby is born. The toll of postpartum depression is both immediate and lasting. Infants of depressed mothers develop more slowly, including measurably lower IQ in boys at later ages, according to one study. Can postpartum depression be prevented? Yes, even in high-risk mothers such as the “Melindas.”

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