General News — 10 July 2012

Almost one in five mothers of young children have been diagnosed with depression, and about half the cases are perinatal depression, new Australian figures show.

A report released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare shows that an estimated 111,000 mothers of children up to two years of age were diagnosed with depression in 2010, and about 56,000 had perinatal depression.

Almost 75% of women said the depression was first diagnosed before being pregnant while nearly one in five said they were diagnosed in the first year after giving birth.

Perinatal depression was more common among younger mothers, those who had an emergency caesarean, smokers and those living in the lowest income households.

More than 80% of mothers with perinatal depression sought help or treatment, most commonly from their GP (70%), a psychologist (28%) or from a midwife or nurse (20%).

As first appeared in Psychiatry Update, 5 July 2012


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