A new study that has been published by the Journal of Advanced Nursing has revealed that telephone-based support can help to reduce postnatal depression in new mothers. It also found that social support from peers can be another hugely effective way of managing maternal depression.
Postnatal depression is a major depression of at least two weeks which can affect mothers up to two years following delivery and affects a staggering 30% of women worldwide. It is thought that as many as one in seven women in the UK suffer from postnatal depression with the chances of suffering dramatically escalating with subsequent pregnancies.
Nicole Letourneau, a profesor in Pediatrics and Psychiatry commented:
“Postnatal depression is a major health concern not only for the mother, but for the child as well. Treatments for postnatal depression are particularly important to prevent adverse effects on the mother-child relationship and limit the potential impact on child development.”
The study which was carried out by the Journal of Advanced Nursing recruited mothers suffering with depression up to two years after delivery. 77% of the subjects reported having depressive symptoms prior to becoming pregnant and 57% said there had been complications during the pregnancy.
Peer volunteers who successfully recovered from postnatal depression were trained as peer support and provided an average of nine support calls. It was found that the telephone support significantly helped to relive the symptoms of depression.
The co-lead author of the study. Loretta Secco concluded:
“Our findings highlight the importance of nurses assessing depression in new mothers and demonstrate the potential of telephone-based peer support to reduce maternal depression. This non-judgemental support from peers seems to help overcome the stigma often associated with mental illness.”
If you are worried about postnatal depression, please feel free to visit our Postnatal Depression Knowledge Centre for more information. We also offer depression treatment. You can learn more at our depression treatment page or contact us today.