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Study: Many pregnant, postpartum women experience depression


Nepalnews
2022 Mar 06, 8:01, Chicago

 A study has found that many pregnant women have lingering depression and anxiety symptoms throughout their pregnancy and postpartum despite using anti-depressants.

The study has also found anxiety symptoms are common in treated depressed women, with symptoms worsening over time in some women.

The study was published in the journal, 'Psychatric Research and Clinical Practice.'

This was the first study to measure the different trajectories of depression and anxiety in pregnant and postpartum women. Through pregnancpregnaty, 18 per cent of the women had minimal, 50 per cent had mild and 32 per cent clinically relevant depressive symptoms.

"This is the first longitudinal data to show that many pregnant women report depression and anxiety symptoms during pregnancy and postpartum, despite their choice to continue treatment with antidepressants," said senior author Dr Katherine Wisner, director of the Asher Center for the Study and Treatment of Depressive Disorders and professor of psychiatry and of obstetrics and gynaecology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

"It lets us know these women need to be continually monitored during pregnancy and postpartum, so their clinicians can tailor their treatment to alleviate their symptoms," she added.

"Psychological and psychosocial factors change rapidly across childbearing," said co-author Dr. Catherine Stika, a clinical professor of obstetrics and gynaecology at Northwestern and a Northwestern Medicine gynaecologist.

"Repeated screenings will allow your clinician to adapt the type and/or intensity of intervention until your symptoms improve," she added.

Depression also impacts a woman's infant. "This is key as children exposed to a depressed mother have an increased risk of childhood developmental disorders," Wisner said.

The new research also showed that pregnant women taking selective antidepressants to treat their depression showed sub-optimal health, including elevated body mass index, infertility, migraines, thyroid disorders and asthma. A history of eating disorders predicted elevated depression trajectory scores.

Perinatal depression and anxiety are widespread, affecting 20 per cent of women during pregnancy and after birth. An estimated 500,000 pregnancies in the US annually will result in women who have or will have psychiatric illness during pregnancy.

The study was included 88 pregnant women. Researchers completed assessments every four weeks from study entry until delivery and at six and 14 weeks postpartum. Participants were enrolled at urban academic medical centres including Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, University of Texas-Galveston, University of Pittsburgh and a rural health centre.

READ ALSO:

Pregnant Women depression anxiety Anti-depressants. gynaecologist Perinatal depression
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