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Counseling and Peer Contact May Help Women With Postpartum Depression According to Two Recent Studies

Posted Jan 22 2009 3:53pm 1 Comment
About 10% of pregnancies result in postpartum depression, which can occur days or even months after delivery ( Wrong Diagnosis.com ). Approximately one out of every 679 new mothers in the US experience postpartum depression.

Two studies published in the BMJ on January 16, 2009 looked at therapy as an alternative instead of antidepressants in treating women with postpartum depression. These studies discovered that talking and therapy helps women deal with postpartum depression.

One of the studies leg by Cindy-Lee Dennis, an associate professor at the University of Toranto, looked at the benefits of telephone support to prevent postpartum depression in high-risk women.

701 women who were at high risk for postpartum depression were given regular postpartum care along with telephone support from other women who had already experienced postpartum depression.

The women who received the peer support over the telephone were 50 percent less likely to develop postpartum depression twelve weeks after their baby was born than the women who did not get the support. The researchers also found that 80 percent of the women who got telephone support said they would recommend this to a friend. 60 percent believed that this one to one peer support was better than group therapy. And 81 percent were satisfied with the overall experience.

Jane Morrell, research leader at the University of Huddersfield in the UK and an author of the other study found that with counseling or therapy mothers had greater reductions in depression than mothers who recieved normal postpartum care.

Morrell and her research team took 418 mothers with postpartum depression and assigned them to one hour weekly visits from a health care worker. These visits went on for up to eight weeks. The health care worker provided counseling, cognitive behavioral therapy or regular prenatal care to these women.

The researchers discovered that mothers who were depressed at six weeks were 40 percent less likely to be depressed at six months if they recieved counseling or therapy. They also found that this method was more cost effective.

This is all great news for women who are at high risk for postpartum depression, especially if you plan on nursing your baby. Lactating women should not take antidepressants so the alternative of counseling will help them deal with postpartum depression.


Cascia

Source: BMJ online Jan. 16, 2009

Read what other's are saying about this story.

Phone Support Cuts Antidepressant Use For Post-Partum Depression in Medical Centre Blog

Postpartum depression prevented by telephone peer support in iHealth Bulletin News

Comments (1)
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I kept wondering if there were options for <a href="http://www.instituteforfamily.org">online counseling</a> for my wife when she was experiencing PPD. It was hard to get her to want to be around anyone. Thank for these steps. I will put them to good use
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