Parental depression is common years after child-birth

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A British study has found that more than a third of mothers experienced at least one episode of depression during a twelve year span after giving birth to their child. Irwin Nazareth, MBBS, PhD, of University College London, and colleagues, also found that one in five fathers had at least one episode of depression during the first twelve years after their child was born. The study, published online in Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, noted that the risk of depression was markedly higher, however, during the first year after child birth. The researcher explained how numerous factors can contribute to parental depression in the first year after child-birth: These rates of depression “are not surprising owing to the potential stress associated with the birth of a baby… Poor parental sleep, the demands made on parents and the change in their responsibilities, and the pressure this could place on the couple’s relationship are all factors,” they said. The researchers also mentioned that one of the contributing factors for mothers, however small, is the temporary discontinuation of antidepressant medication during pregnancy as well as after while breast-feeding. Click here to read an article from Medpage Today that discusses this study more.

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