Prevention of postpartum depression – the role of health professionals in identifying risk factors and symptoms of the disease
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Zakład Metodologii i Badań Statystycznych, Instytut Psychologii, Wydział Nauk o Wychowaniu, Uniwersytet Łódzki
Med Og Nauk Zdr. 2013;19(4):463-468
Postpartum depression affects approximately 10–20% of women who become mothers worldwide. Its symptoms hinder motherhood, sometimes make it impossible to fulfil the role of a mother, and seriously affect the normal development of the child. In addition, undiagnosed and untreated postpartum depression may affect further reproductive decisions, and increase the costs of care of mother and child. Therefore, early recognition of risk and symptoms of postpartum depression seem to be necessary to protect the woman and newborn against the negative consequences of the disease. The aim of this study is to present the role and potential strategies of medical staff involved in the care of women during pregnancy and childbirth in diagnosing postpartum depression. The article presents the characteristics of postpartum depression, including symptoms and risk factors of its occurrence, as well as the consequences for the mother-child relationship and child development. The discussed activities which serve an early identification of the symptoms and risk factors of postpartum depression may be helpful for health care professionals who provide care of mother and baby in the perinatal period. Although the complete diagnosis requires psychiatric expertise, other medical specialists and the remaining medical staff providing care for a woman in the perinatal period, may significantly contribute to the proper and early intervention to protect the health of mother and newborn child

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