A study from the universities of Leicester, Nottingham and Sheffield has revealed that women who receive trained health visitors after delivery may not suffer post natal depression.
In a study of over 2,000 women, the researchers found that trained health visitors were able to quickly assess the mental state of the new mother and give psychological support. The study from 101 primary care centers assigned trained health visitors to 1,500 women following childbirth, while 767 women received normal care.
The researchers reported that women who received health visitors were 30% less likely to develop depression six months after child birth compared with women receiving usual care.
"This study shows that women are less likely to become depressed in the year after childbirth if they are attended by an NHS health visitor who has undergone additional training in specific mental health assessment and in psychological approaches based on either cognitive behavioural or listening techniques," said lead researcher Professor Terry Brugha, of the University of Leicester Clinical Division of Psychiatry