Screen mums-to-be for depression: expert

Paediatricians have been advised to screen mums-to-be for signs of depression.

Postnatal depression

Paediatricians may start screening expectant mothers for signs of peri- and postnatal depression after research found the condition can have effects on their child's development.

A clinical report commissioned by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) found that postnatal depression was still one of the most underdiagnosed obstetric complications in the US, suggesting that 400,000 children are born to mothers suffering from the condition each year.

The AAP said the condition has long-term side-effects on the mother-child relationship as well as on the greater family — not just the mother suffering from the illness. The academy recommended pregnant women be screened for depression at their one-, two- and four-month visits.

Paediatricians are being advised to have mothers complete the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale — 10 questions that are designed to identify whether a woman is struggling emotionally.

The study's lead author, Dr Marian Earls, said that often doctors go on their "gut instinct" when detecting postnatal depression, and said that this was not good enough.

"[Postnatal depression] wouldn't necessarily always be obvious, so the evidence is that you really need to ask and it needs to be routine," Dr Earls told Time magazine.

The report was published in the November edition of the medical journal Pediatrics.

In Australia, 15 percent of all new mothers in Australia suffer from postnatal depression, the Post and Antenatal Depression Association (PANDA) reported.

The association said early signs of the condition can be difficult to diagnose. If left untreated, postnatal depression can lead to suicidal thoughts, self-harm such as alcohol abuse and self-medication, and harm to the baby through neglect or physical abuse.

Several paediatric clinics in the US have already started screening for signs of depression in their patients, including Dr Earls' own clinic. The study reported that 10 women needed immediate emergency services, while others who were identified as being "at risk" were referred to counsellors and support groups.

For more information about postnatal depression and to see how you rate on the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale visit www.beyondblue.org.au

 

12:0AM, Nov 29th 2010

comments powered by Disqus

Related articles

 
 
instagram
  • 6 HOURS LEFT: We have 4x family passes to the @sydney_royal_easter_show to giveaway. To enter share this post tag @motherbaby_au with the hashtag #eastershow2015 and tell us what you'd love to show your kids at the Easter Show this year. Make sure your profile is public so we can see your entry πŸ‘πŸ£πŸ’•πŸ° Entries close Sunday 29th March, 2015 at 11.59pm AEST. Each prize is a family pass for 2x adults and 2x children to gain entry to the Sydney Royal Easter Show.

    mother and baby 6 HOURS LEFT: We have 4x family passes to the @sydney_royal_easter_show to giveaway. To enter share this post tag @motherbaby_au with the hashtag #eastershow2015 and tell us what you'd love to show your kids at the Easter Show this year. Make sure your profile is public so we can see your entry πŸ‘πŸ£πŸ’•πŸ° Entries close Sunday 29th March, 2015 at 11.59pm AEST. Each prize is a family pass for 2x adults and 2x children to gain entry to the Sydney Royal Easter Show.

    More from the team
  • We love this adorable DIY mini terrarium. Check out the tutorial & more sugarless Easter gift ideas from @beafunmum by searching "Terrarium" on our website πŸ°πŸ„πŸŒΎ

    mother and baby We love this adorable DIY mini terrarium. Check out the tutorial & more sugarless Easter gift ideas from @beafunmum by searching "Terrarium" on our website πŸ°πŸ„πŸŒΎ

    More from the team
  • Elle Macpherson is 51. She and her husband, Jeffery have copped a bashing online this week after it was revealed they are having a baby. Our online writer, Lauren Sams has a thing or two to say to the keyboard warriors. Click the link on our profile to read what she has to say πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘

    mother and baby Elle Macpherson is 51. She and her husband, Jeffery have copped a bashing online this week after it was revealed they are having a baby. Our online writer, Lauren Sams has a thing or two to say to the keyboard warriors. Click the link on our profile to read what she has to say πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘

    More from the team
  • THIS 😳
  • Asher Keddie has shared the name of new baby son is Valentino. We think with a name like that he is a heart-throb in the making. Congrats again to Asher and her new little family πŸΌπŸ‘ΆπŸ’™

    mother and baby Asher Keddie has shared the name of new baby son is Valentino. We think with a name like that he is a heart-throb in the making. Congrats again to Asher and her new little family πŸΌπŸ‘ΆπŸ’™

    More from the team
  • Aussie ironwoman and new mum @candyfalzon with her gorgeous baby, Ivy Mae are on the cover of our April M&B issue. Click the link on our profile to read how Candice coped through a touch-and-go pregnancy and how she juggles motherhood while keeping up with fiancΓ©'s @davidwarner31 busy cricketing schedule πŸ’•

    mother and baby Aussie ironwoman and new mum @candyfalzon with her gorgeous baby, Ivy Mae are on the cover of our April M&B issue. Click the link on our profile to read how Candice coped through a touch-and-go pregnancy and how she juggles motherhood while keeping up with fiancΓ©'s @davidwarner31 busy cricketing schedule πŸ’•

    More from the team
  • We have 4x family passes to the @sydney_royal_easter_show to giveaway. To enter share this post and tag @motherbaby_au with the hashtag #eastershow2015 and tell us what you'd love to show your kids at the Easter Show this year. Make sure your profile is public so we can see your entry πŸ‘πŸ£πŸ’•πŸ° Entries close Sunday 29th March, 2015 at 11.59pm AEST. Each prize is a family pass for 2x adults and 2x children to gain entry to the Sydney Royal Easter Show.

    mother and baby We have 4x family passes to the @sydney_royal_easter_show to giveaway. To enter share this post and tag @motherbaby_au with the hashtag #eastershow2015 and tell us what you'd love to show your kids at the Easter Show this year. Make sure your profile is public so we can see your entry πŸ‘πŸ£πŸ’•πŸ° Entries close Sunday 29th March, 2015 at 11.59pm AEST. Each prize is a family pass for 2x adults and 2x children to gain entry to the Sydney Royal Easter Show.

    More from the team
  • Looking for Easter gifts for your kids - without the chocolate? Kelly @beafunmum has shared her top ideas for Easter pressies including this adorable baby bunny onesie from @peteralexanderofficial πŸ’•πŸ°πŸ‘ Click the link in our profile and search "Easter Gifts" for more sugar-free Easter ideas πŸ£πŸ‘

    mother and baby Looking for Easter gifts for your kids - without the chocolate? Kelly @beafunmum has shared her top ideas for Easter pressies including this adorable baby bunny onesie from @peteralexanderofficial πŸ’•πŸ°πŸ‘ Click the link in our profile and search "Easter Gifts" for more sugar-free Easter ideas πŸ£πŸ‘

    More from the team
  • What's better than eggs at Easter? Easter Sundaes, of course! The clever chicks at @shopsweetlulu have a delicious tutorial on how to make your own Easter Sundae Kit πŸ˜πŸ°πŸ£πŸ’•πŸ‘

    mother and baby What's better than eggs at Easter? Easter Sundaes, of course! The clever chicks at @shopsweetlulu have a delicious tutorial on how to make your own Easter Sundae Kit πŸ˜πŸ°πŸ£πŸ’•πŸ‘

    More from the team
  • Anyone else guilty of this!? 😁😝

    mother and baby Anyone else guilty of this!? 😁😝

    More from the team