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Although depression in the medical history is still the single biggest risk factor for postpartum depression, according to recent research, fear of childbirth may predispose women to disorder.
Fear of childbirth increases the risk of depressionTHE BMJ Open In a study published in the journal, researchers reported that fear of childbearing increases the risk of postpartum depression by a factor of three in women who had no history of depression. For women with a history of depression, the risk is increased by a factor of five. Parents had post-partum depression in 3 percent, or 1,438 women.
Sari Raisanen, head of research at Emory University in Atlanta, said that, according to their expectations, two-thirds of all postpartum depression cases occurred in women who were suffering from depression before or during pregnancy. What surprised the researchers, however, was that one third of the cases involved women who were at low risk for the disorder because they had not previously shown signs of depression.
After examining women for a medical history, several related factors were found, such as cesarean section, premature birth, stillbirth or birth defect. However, apart from previous depression, the only major predisposing factor was the diagnosis suggesting that the average woman is from childbirth. "The most important task is to recognize this low-risk group in a timely manner," the author wrote.