HealthDay News — About 13 percent of women report postpartum depressive symptoms (PDS), according to research published in the May 15 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Brenda L. Bauman, M.S.P.H., from the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues analyzed 2018 data from the Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System to describe PDS among women with a recent live birth and evaluate whether health care providers asked about depression during prenatal and postpartum visits.

The researchers found that the prevalence of PDS was 13.2 percent among respondents from 31 sites and ranged from 9.7 to 23.5 percent in Illinois and Mississippi, respectively. Among women who were aged ≤19 years, were American Indian/Alaska Native, smoked during or after pregnancy, experienced intimate partner violence before or during pregnancy, or self-reported depression before or during pregnancy or whose infant had died since birth, the prevalence of PDS exceeded 20 percent. Overall, 79.1 percent of women reported that a health care provider asked about depression during prenatal care visits, ranging from 51.3 to 90.7 percent in Puerto Rico and Alaska, respectively. Overall, 87.4 percent of women reported that a provider asked about depression during postpartum visits, with a range of 50.7 to 96.2 percent in Puerto Rico and Vermont, respectively.

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“Perinatal depression is a common complication of pregnancy that can be addressed at multiple levels,” the authors write. “Screening for perinatal depression should be accompanied by evidence-based systems for diagnosis, counseling, treatment, and referral.”

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