Washington D.C, Aug 4 A new study has shown that depression following childbirth can begin at different times and follow multiple distinct trajectories.
The research emphasised the need for clinicians to monitor for signs of postpartum depression and be aware of risk factors that may predispose a new mother to depression.
Researchers identified and characterised six different depression paths based on their analysis of more than 3,000 first-time mothers, beginning in the third trimester of pregnancy and continuing through the first year after birth.
They described risk factors for depression and distinguish between the more common and less frequent course of depression observed, which included a minority of women who became newly and increasingly depressed over the first 12 months postpartum.
These findings provide an important new depth of understanding of this common disorder affecting pregnant women and new mothers, says Susan G.
Kornstein, Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Women's Health. She added, The study follows closely on the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force assessment supporting screening for depression in pregnant and postpartum women.
The study appears in Journal of Women's Health..