Screen all new mothers for depression after giving birth, says watchdog

The Telegraph 8 February 2017
Family First Comment: “Giving women the right treatment at the right time can have a profound effect, not just for the mother but her family too. Symptoms of mental health problems can be masked during pregnancy, and the post-natal period. We recommend that clinicians ensure new mothers are asked about their mental health so that these symptoms are not overlooked and women are not left so suffer in silence.”
Doctors should screen all mothers  for depression and anxiety in the weeks after giving birth, according to the NHS advisory body.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence said staff are too often confusing symptoms of mental health disorders, such as sleep disruption and changes to appetite, with “what is considered normal” in postnatal women.

The body is calling on GPs to routinely assess the psychological state of all women who have recently given birth to prevent conditions being missed.

Up to one in five mothers suffer anxiety or depression in the year after childbirth, however a recent NHS report found huge discrepancies in the quality of treatment they receive.
They are also at risk of panic and generalised anxiety disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder, while postpartum psychosis affects between one and two in every 1,000 women who have given birth.


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