Many Moms Depressed Before Child is Age 12

LONDON, Sept. 8 (UPI) — One-third of mothers and one-fifth of fathers in Britain appear to experience some depression between their child’s birth and age 12, researchers found.

Shreya Dave of the Medical Research Council in London and colleagues, using diagnostic codes and pharmacy records, examined incidence, trends and other factors of parental depression in 86,957 families seen in British primary care facilities from 1993 to 2007.

The study, published in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, found overall, between their children’s birth and age 12, 19,286 mothers had a total of 25,176 episodes of depression and 8,012 fathers had a total of 9,683 episodes of depression.

The depression rate was 7.53 per 100 mothers per year and 2.69 per 100 fathers per year, the study says.

The highest rates of depression occurred in the child’s first year of life.

“These high rates of depression in the postpartum period are not surprising owing to the potential stress associated with the birth of a baby, e.g., poor parental sleep, the demands made on parents and the change in their responsibilities, and the pressure this could place on the couple’s relationship,” the study authors said in a statement. “The high rate of parental depression in the first year after delivery may also be partly due to a resumption of antidepressant use following a break during pregnancy and breastfeeding.”

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