Women are more likely to suffer from postpartum depression, a severe form of depression related to pregnancy and childbirth. A US panel has recommended screening for depression for all adults to reduce the risk of developing depressive symptoms and postpartum depression (PPD).
U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has announced that all adults in the country must get screened for depression instead of taking unnecessary medications for it. Screening pose no harm and will only help in prescribing effective treatment and appropriate follow-up.
‘U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends depression screening for women during and after pregnancy to avoid postpartum depression.’
Pregnant women are more prone to PPD with 8-19% experiencing it in the country. The risk factors include anxiety, stress, poor self-esteem, decreased social support, and unintended pregnancy.
The panel recommends depression screening also for taking up other available treatment options such as psychotherapy and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).
It also warned against the use of over-the-counter drugs for depression as it could be detrimental. Maternal mental illness can affect children, leading to behavioral problems, emotional instability and difficulty in school.