Panel: Doctors Should Focus on Preventing Depression in Pregnant Women, New Moms

September 21, 2018

News Type:  Weekly Spark, Weekly Spark News


New draft recommendations aim to prevent depression among pregnant women and new mothers. In 2016, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommended that physicians screen women for depression during pregnancy and shortly after childbirth, and refer those who screen positive to treatment. Their latest recommendations call for identifying and treating women at risk for depression before they show signs of it. According to the task force, physicians should screen for risk factors such as past depression diagnoses, current depressive symptoms, and socioeconomic challenges like low income or being a young or single parent. Physicians should then refer women at risk to cognitive behavioral therapy or interpersonal therapy, which are evidence-based forms of talk therapy. “The really big news is that counseling to prevent depression in women who’re at risk works,” said Karina Davidson, task force member and professor of medicine and psychiatry at the Columbia University Medical Center.

Spark Extra! Read the draft recommendations.