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Tuesday October 29, 15:55

Depression During the Pregnancy or After Birth

The early detection of the risk of suffering from depression during or after pregnancy may reduce the negative effects in both the mother and the foetus.
The early detection of the risk of suffering from depression during or after pregnancy may reduce the negative effects in both the mother and the foetus.
 

The early detection of the risk of suffering from depression during or after pregnancy may reduce the negative effects in both the mother and the foetus.

Researchers from the Universitat Jaume I in Castelló and from the Universidad de Zaragoza have developed the computer application 'Mamá Feliz' [Happy Mum], which enables to anticipate depression.

"The main objective of the project 'Mamá Feliz' is studying the risk factors which the scientific literature has proven to be related to the greater probability of developing depression during the pregnancy or after birth. Therefore, we have created a computer application, 'Mamá Feliz', which includes these variables" - Jorge Osma, lecturer of Master at the UJI said.

"We monitor these variables in pregnant women on two occasions during the pregnancy and on three occasion after childbirth - up to three months after it. We think that a computer tool could be a useful and effective service to monitor and detect the risk of depression in woman during or after pregnancy." - he added.

About a hundred women have already tried the application. The first information makes possible to advance in the knowledge of which are the variables that have the greatest influence at the time of suffering from depression during pregnancy or postpartum.

The first information indicates that, when evaluating women before childbirth, 48 percent of these women might have had depressive symptoms before pregnancy. This is a very important risk factor.

Therefore, it justifies that it is necessary to monitor these women in order to control that depression does not appear during pregnancy or after birth. 20 percent of these women start to have depressive symptoms during pregnancy. Moreover, 20 percent women feel ambivalence during pregnancy. This means that sometimes they have feelings of pleasure because of the phase that they are passing through and feelings of desire of having a child, and sometimes quite the contrary guilty feelings, feeling of not knowing to look after the child well, and feelings of worry and fear.

Some of the factors that may increase the risk of suffering from depression are the presence of psychopathologies in the mother or the family, lack of social support, problems with the partner, increase of stress, low incomes or medical problems during pregnancy. In the second phase, the computer tool will also offer prevention and intervention treatments. The project goes for cybertherapy or online therapy, which is being consolidated as a complement and an alternative to the traditional psychological care.

'Mamá Feliz' deals with a disease suffered by a high percentage of mothers. It is surprising that, although some studies suggest that 8 percent women in Spain get depressed after birth, there are no evaluation systems which detect it and make possible to act previously. Moreover, there are factors that indicate which women are more likely to get depressed, but nothing is done to evaluate and detect it.

Women interested in participating in the study and knowing their emotional state during pregnancy and postpartum may do so through the webpage www.mamafeliz.es.

Scientific Culture and Innovation Unit Communication and Publications Service

 
 
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