drug abuse postpartum depression

A new study from North Carolina State University (NCSU) and the University of British Columbia (UBC) revealed that a woman’s lifelong record of drug abuse can determine whether or not she will have difficulties dealing with postpartum anxiety after giving birth.

Authors Sarah Desmarais, associate professor of psychology at NCSU, Betty-Shannon Prevatt, a Ph.D. student at NCSU, and Patricia A. Janssen of UBC, claim their findings could aid health care providers in screening for mental health issues and arrange relevant treatment for pregnant women at risk for postpartum depression.

Unlike other studies, this one did not focus solely on drug abuse. Instead, the authors wanted to answer a much bigger question of whether or not women’s consumption of alcohol and drugs during their lifetime can predict mental health challenges after they’ve given birth.

“There’s been a lot of attention recently on the need to incorporate mental health screening into prenatal care,” Desmarais said in a press release.

The authors compiled data from interviews with 100 British Columbian women who had given birth three months prior to the study. These participants were from high socioeconomic backgrounds and were told the study wasn’t focused on drug or alcohol abuse. In the beginning of the study…(continue reading),