Although having a child is usually considered a happy event, an estimated 10 to 15 percent of women living in the U.S. develop some form of maternal depression. In response to new research and increased awareness about the problem, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force revised their 2009 recommendations for screening procedures to diagnose and treat prenatal and postpartum depression.
The guidelines, published last week in the Journal of the American Medical Association, now recommend screening for depression in the general adult population and they highlight the potential benefits of screening for pregnant and postpartum women.
Earlier this week, KQED Forum delved into the basis and potential implications of these new recommendations by exploring the topic with a panel of experts including Katherine Williams, MD, director of Stanford's Women's Wellness Clinic.
Williams (who begins speaking at the 10:25 mark) stated that one of the most important aspects of the revised recommendations is its discussion of psychotherapy and how it can and, as Williams says, should be used as the first form of treatment for pregnant or nursing moms who are suffering from depression. The entire hour-long discussion is worth a listen.
Previously: A telephone lifeline for moms with postpartum depression, “2020 Mom Project” promotes awareness of perinatal mood disorders, Ah…OM: Study shows prenatal yoga may relieve anxiety in pregnant women and Helping moms emerge from the darkness of postpartum depression
Photo by Josh Bean