Women who experience symptoms of depression during and more often after their baby's birth are often treated with drugs instead of being offered counseling services.
These were the findings of a survey conducted by leading mental charity unit 'Mind'.
Depresssion in new mothers and soon-to-be mothers have become increasingly frequent with at least one in six women experiencing mental distress. It has been found that almost 25 per cent of all maternal deaths are due to psychiatric causes.
The survey also revealed that over two thirds of mothers with depression waited a month or more for any form of treatment. Besides this it was found that about one in 10 had to wait over a year.
It was found that even when they were treated, three quarters of these mothers were given medication while only some 20 per cent were offered cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).
Earlier studies has shown that pregnant women who took anti-depressants such as Prozac, were more often likely to give birth to premature, stillborn and low birth weight infants. The survey was conducted on 148 women of whom 63 per cent were admitted in general psychiatric wards instead of specialist mother and baby units.
Mind's chief Executive, Paul Farmer, said: "Emotional and mental distress can be devastating for mothers and their families.
"It's shocking how many women are being diagnosed incorrectly or not at all, put on waiting lists for treatment or told that services are not available in their area."
The Government plans to launch two pilot studies to encourage the use of CBT and other counseling therapies over taking medication.