BookmarkBookmarkTick

New Recommendation Calls for Doctors to Screen Pregnant Women for Depression

A new move encourages doctors to screen pregnant women and new moms for depression to get them the help they need.
ByStephanie Grassullo
Associate Editor
Published
Aug 2018
serious pregnant woman standing in tropical greenhouse
Image: Julia Fenner

Maternal depression is a struggle for mom and baby. Many times, knowing you may be at risk for depression can be half the battle.

A new recommendation by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force is working to change this. The drafted suggestion calls for doctors to screen pregnant women and new moms to identify those at risk for becoming depressed. That way, moms can be treated before they show symptoms of depression and are diagnosed with the condition.

“If we could get in earlier, and provide some treatments such as psychotherapies…then we could prevent new onset of illness,” Maria Muzik, associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Michigan, tells NPR.

Preventive screening would be a game-changer, as there are many pregnant women and new moms who suffer from depression during pregnancy or in the year after childbirth. The new recommendation suggests two kinds of talk therapy—cognitive behavior therapy and interpersonal therapy—to help prevent depression for those at risk.

“The really big news is that counseling to prevent depression in women who’re at risk works,” Karina Davidson, a professor of medicine and psychiatry at the Columbia University Medical Center tells NPR. “Counseling doesn’t cause increased anxiety, and it doesn’t hurt in any way.”

This report once again highlights how important it is to identify those moms or moms-to-be who may be at risk for maternal depression, and to get them the help they need so they don’t have to face the battle alone.

writer posing with her newborn and husband

I’m an OB and I Suffered From Postpartum Depression

profile picture of Temeka Zore, MD
Temeka Zore, MD
OB-GYN and Infertility Specialist
actress reese witherspoon opens up about her struggles with postpartum depression

Reese Witherspoon Opens Up About Struggle With Postpartum Depression

profile picture of Nehal Aggarwal
Nehal Aggarwal
Associate Editor
Published
04/17/2020
first dad holding his newborn

New York City Will Now Provide Home Visits to First-Time Parents

profile picture of Nehal Aggarwal
Nehal Aggarwal
Associate Editor
Published
02/13/2020
ashley graham opens up about the struggles of postpartum

Ashley Graham Opens Up About Struggles of Postpartum Recovery

profile picture of Nehal Aggarwal
Nehal Aggarwal
Associate Editor
Published
02/11/2020
woman suffering from postpartum depression

General Anesthesia May Increase PPD Risk After C-Sections, Study Finds

profile picture of Nehal Aggarwal
Nehal Aggarwal
Associate Editor
Published
02/11/2020
intimate photo series capturing postpartum bodies

This Mom’s Photo Series Highlights the Beauty of Postpartum Bodies

profile picture of Nehal Aggarwal
Nehal Aggarwal
Associate Editor
Published
12/17/2019
mom breastfeeding her newborn baby

When Breast Isn’t Best: Mom Shares How Breastfeeding Triggered Her PPD

profile picture of Stephanie Grassullo
Stephanie Grassullo
Associate Editor
Published
07/09/2019
model behati prinsloo opens up about postpartum depression after the birth of her child

Victoria’s Secret Model Explains How PPD Can Be ‘Spiraling’ for New Moms

profile picture of Stephanie Grassullo
Stephanie Grassullo
Associate Editor
Published
06/24/2019
serious dad holding his newborn baby

Most People Don’t Recognize Postnatal Depression in Men, Study Shows

profile picture of Stephanie Grassullo
Stephanie Grassullo
Associate Editor
Published
05/14/2019
happy mom holding her baby, representing the alexis joy foundation

This Dad Lost His Wife to PPD—Here’s What He Wants You to Know

profile picture of Stephanie Grassullo
Stephanie Grassullo
Associate Editor
Published
05/08/2019
chrissy teigen sits on a green coach.

Chrissy Teigen Has One Powerful Wish for Moms Everywhere

profile picture of Stephanie Grassullo
Stephanie Grassullo
Associate Editor
Published
05/03/2019
sad mom looking at her baby in the stroller

FDA Approves First Drug for Postpartum Depression

profile picture of Stephanie Grassullo
Stephanie Grassullo
Associate Editor
Published
03/20/2019
Article removed.