New postpartum depression study may help increase early treatment for higher risk patients

International study is the largest in the world

UNC SCHOOL OF MEDICINE - Having a baby can be one of the happiest experiences in a woman’s life, but one in five women slip into depression after giving birth.

A new study hopes to find out why, and what can be done to prevent postpartum depression.

In one of our Denver7 Basics of Babies segment, we focused on the new study being done by researchers at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine.

Our partners at Saint Joseph’s Hospital say many women often don’t know they are suffering from postpartum depression because the symptoms of fatigue, decrease libido and disturbed sleep are mistaken as normal occurrences after childbirth.

Doctors hope the new study will help catch red flags, early on.

“What I think the study potentially will offer us is the ability with these patients, that are higher risk, to maybe be able to screen them ahead of time," said Dr. Katie Rustici. "And know whether they have genetic risk factors, and if they do, maybe even be able to know what medication would be the best to start for them postpartum."

A smart phone app will be used to conduct the study.

Researchers hope to get more than 100,000 women involved.

Read more of Basics of Babies stories here.

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