Factors increasing the risk for postpartum depression
According to a recent survey reported in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, women who have experienced physical abuse during or before pregnancy, financial or traumatic stress during pregnancy, partner associated stress during pregnancy, or tobacco use during the last three months of pregnancy, are at significantly higher risk of having postpartum depression. The survey collected data from 17 states; among these New Mexico had the highest instance of self-reported postpartum at 20%, and Maine the lowest at 12%. Along with the afore mentioned risk factors, women receiving Medicaid, younger women, and less educated women were more likely to report symptoms of postpartum depression. The following is an excerpt of the survey’s findings from MMWR:
This report summarizes the results of that analysis, which indicated that, during 2004–2005, the prevalence of self-reported PDS in 17 U.S. states* ranged from 11.7% (Maine) to 20.4% (New Mexico). Younger women, those with lower educational attainment, and women who received Medicaid benefits for their delivery were more likely to report PDS. State and local health departments should evaluate the effectiveness of targeting mental health services to these mothers and incorporating messages about PPD into existing programs (e.g., domestic violence services) for women at higher risk.