Postnatal Depression Antidepressants seem to be extremely significant in the health zone. Just last month an investigation claimed antidepressants to help decrease aggressive behavior and this tidbit highlights its benefit for women. According to a recent study undertaken by the University of Bristol, inclusion of antidepressants in the early stages itself improves symptoms of postnatal depression among women. It is known that postnatal depression is a substantial public health problem acquired by 10 percent new mothers.

Long-term effects of this illness may be faced by the mother, baby, family, friends and colleagues. Investigators believe that only 50 percent of postnatal depression cases are identified by health professionals. Postnatal depression can be treated easily like other forms of depression. Scientists compared capability and cost-effectiveness of antidepressant drug therapy with a community-based psychosocial intervention. The study comprised 254 women recruited from 77 general practices in England.

Professor Deborah Sharp from Bristol’s School of Social and Community Medicine, and lead author, remarked, “Although many women, at least initially, revealed a preference for listening visits, it would appear that starting women on antidepressants early in the course of illness is likely to result in the greatest improvement in symptoms. There is an urgent need for GPs and HVs to agree the care pathway for women who suffer from postnatal depression, not only for the benefit of the mother, but also the child.”

The participants were provided with an antidepressant prescribed by their GP or counseling i.e., listening visits from a specially trained research health visitor (HV). At four weeks the outcome was that antidepressants displayed better supportive care. The prevalence of postnatal depression appeared under 10 percent. No significant variations were reported between antidepressant therapy and listening visits at 18 weeks. After four weeks, women were free to change groups or include the substitute intervention.

The study was funded by the National Institute for Health Research, Health Technology Assessment (HIHR HTA) programme.