Depression Affects 15% of New Moms. A New Guideline Could Help Prevent It

Looking For The Light

TIME

By JAMIE DUCHARME

February 13, 2019

A new recommendation from a group of independent experts convened by the government could help more new and expecting mothers avoid depression, one of the most common complications of pregnancy and childbirth.

The recommendation is the first from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) on preventing perinatal depression, which strikes during pregnancy or after childbirth and affects almost 15% of new mothers. The guideline states that clinicians, namely primary care providers, should provide counseling services, or references to them, to all pregnant and postpartum women at increased risk of perinatal depression. The guidance could help prevent mental health issues in this vulnerable population, and prompt more insurance providers to cover counseling services for pregnant and postpartum women.

After reviewing the relevant research, the USPSTF specifically recommended that at-risk women try cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), which focuses on changing a person’s thoughts…

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