A recent study came out that reveals a blood test that distinguishes gene variants in women who are at risk of developing postpartum depression. Thus, it may be a predictor of potential depression in pregnant women. Postpartum depression, also known as postnatal depression, has been know to effect up to 20% of women who give birth.
As reported from Warwick Medical School, “The finding appears to show that postnatal depression is a specific subgroup of depression with a distinct genetic element which means that some women are genetically more reactive to the environmental factors which trigger depression.”
If postpartum depression can be predicted then it can be more easily treated, or even prevented. There are many things that can be done for prevention, but improving environmental factors is one, and also treating women with counseling to improve their psychological preparation for child birth.
The implications behind this could be significant not only for potential postpartum depression suffers, but also for their children. “Effects on children can be significant; for example, depressed mothers are less likely to be affectionate towards and to play with their children and they may use less ‘baby talk’ which is designed to engage the child’s attention. This may lead to learning and emotional difficulties for the children in later life.”
This is just the beginning when it comes to testing for postpartum depression. The research team is hoping to continue studies on a broader range of demographics throughout the future.
Could not find what you were looking for?