Screening at 2 Months Identifies Most Women With Postpartum Depression

June 15, 2009 — Using a well-child visit to screen for postpartum depression 2 months after delivery will catch the majority of women likely to develop the condition within the first 6 postpartum months, new research suggests.

Investigators at the University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine also found that using cues embedded in the electronic medical records of infants 0 to 6 months of age to remind physicians to screen new mothers is an effective method of detecting and referring those at risk.

"This study demonstrates that it is feasible to screen adolescent mothers for postpartum depression at their infant’s well-child visits during the first 6 postpartum months, and it provides new insights into the utility of doing so," the investigators, with lead author Jeanelle Sheeder, write.

The study is published in the June issue of Pediatrics.