The June 22, 2015, edition of the Wall Street Journal published “Signs of Postpartum Depressi0on May Appear Months After Initial Screening.” (The WSJ provides excellent technology, science and health reporting, with a firewall between their political and tech/science/health articles). The research was done at the Olmstead Medical Center in Rocherster, MN, and found that many new mothers do not show signs of postpartum depression (PPD) until 6 months after giving birth. The study used the PHQ-9. The study measured 3 PHQ-9 scores: a baseline score (4-12 weeks postpartum), at 6 months and at 12 months. The study found that 13.5% of the women with negative findings for PPD at baseline developed positive findings for PPD at 6 or 12 weeks.

The study is published in the Annuals of Family Medicine. It should be noted that the study did not assess the potential impact of co-occuring health or psychosocial problems.

The CDC reports that up to 15%^ of mothers experience PPD in the first year after giving birth.

My take: the study makes no mention of behavioral professionals, but could be used by therapists to reach out to primary care and ob/gyn colleagues to show awareness of risk of PPD and to offer referral options. It is likely that busy medical practices with a significant maternity population will need assistance with their PPD sub-population.

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