March 11, 2015 – Preventing Postpartum Blues


Anchor lead:  Can something as simple as a home visit from a nurse alleviate postpartum depression? Elizabeth Tracey reports

As many as one in eight women will develop postpartum depression after giving birth, with almost one in two who have the condition doing so in subsequent births, data from the American Psychological Association reveal.  Now a new study shows that home visits from nurses can help.  Patricia Davidson, dean of the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing, comments.

Davidson: Postpartum depression is a catastrophic complication after birth. There’s a real continuum through just the blues through to really psychotic behavior.  I think really there’s a couple of important elements from that study, is really screening women who are at risk of depression and we have some great scales that are implemented.  Interestingly in Australia it’s mandated that every woman is screened for postpartum depression.  More importantly what has happened from that study is seeing that support at home can mediate some of the impacts of depression.  :32

At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.