According to the most recent study on postpartum depression, researchers have revealed that their findings suggest “that extending screening for postpartum depressive symptoms for at least two years after childbirth may be beneficial.”
According to Science Daily, the American Academy of Pediatrics currently recommends that pediatricians check new mothers for postpartum depression one, two, four, and six months after childbirth. However, according to recent findings, six months may not be long enough to tell if a mother could start struggling with postpartum depression.
New Study Says Mothers Can Experience Postpartum Depression Up to Three Years After Birth
As Diane Putnick, Ph.D., the primary author and a staff scientist in the NICHD Epidemiology Branch, revealed, “Our study indicates that six months may not be long enough to gauge depressive symptoms.”
“These long-term data are key to improving our understanding of mom’s mental health, which we know is critical to her child’s well-being and development.”
During the study, “researchers analyzed data from the Upstate KIDS study, which included babies born between 2008 and 2010 from 57 counties in New York State.” That particular study following a total of 5,000 women for a total of three years after their children were born.
The women who participated in the study were asked five questions to gage whether or not they were experiencing any signs of depression. It also revealed that “approximately 1 in 4 women experienced high levels of depressive symptoms at some point in the three years after giving birth.”
The study also shared that “the rest of the women experienced low levels of depression throughout the three-year span.” And with most postpartum depression screenings ending at 6-months postpartum, that’s 2-and-a-half years of mothers not being checked for something that may still affect them.
According to the American Pregnancy Association, “approximately 70 to 80-percent of women will experience, at a minimum, the ‘baby blues’. Many of these women will experience the more severe condition of postpartum depression or a related condition.” And it is okay for a mother who may believe she is struggling with PPD to reach out and ask for help.
Sara Vallone has been a writer and editor for the last four and a half years. A graduate of Ohio University, she enjoys celebrity news, sports, and articles that enhance people’s lives.