Pregnant moms should be screened for depression

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Perinatal depression is a common mental disorder and is usually only detected during or after pregnancy. 

The US Preventative Services Task Force has recommended screening for all pregnant women both during and after pregnancy, to help combat the high risk of PPD during the crucial primary care stages. 

Read more: Do you have postnatal (or perinatal) depression?

A professor of medicine at a university in North Carolina was quoted saying, "These recommendations are taking something that is good and making it even better."

The plan is to expand the initial steps in detecting depression in pregnant women by involving not only family doctors, but gynaecologists, paediatricians and other medical professionals too.

How will perinatal depression be detected?

Common screening involves a questionnaire based on a patient's health. If a women is tested positive from the screening, further assessments are carried out to determine the severity of the depression.

Click here to take the assessment quiz. 

A history of family sleep disorders, depression, drug and alcohol abuse or other psychological factors are also taken into consideration. 

Severe depression includes symptoms such as panic attacks, sleep disorders and suicidal thought patterns, which medical professionals will detect through the series of questions and assessments.

How is it treated?

Treatment will depend on the individual and the severity of the depression. Pregnant women will be encouraged to attend counselling, while postnatal depressions is usually treated with anti-depressants together with therapy.

Are you familiar with perinatal depression? Send us your stories to chatback@parent24.com.

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