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Risk Factors for Post-Natal Depression

Abstract: Which women are more likely to suffer from postpartum depression?

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Risk Factors for Post-Natal Depression

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Question(s): 
Written by: Petros Skapinakis, MD, MPH, PhD, lecturer of Psychiatry in the University of Ioannina Medical School, Greece. Eva Gerasi, postgraduate student in the Department of Psychiatry, University Hospital of Ioannina, Greece.
First version: 22 Jul 2008.
Latest revision: 30 Jul 2008.

Which women are more likely to suffer from postpartum depression?

Answer:

Post-natal depression is associated more than would be expected normally with ante-natal problems (such as eclampsia), complicated labours and ceasarean deliveries. It is more common in women with a previous episode of post-natal depression, in women who are uncertain or unhappy about having a child, and in those who lack support in the form of a confiding relationship, including single mothers. Also women with a history of recurrent episodes of depression, and who discontinue antidepressant maintenance therapy during pregnancy are at a higher risk of a recurrence postpartum.
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