About Postpartum Depression
About the Treatment Study
For Healthcare Professionals
Medication & Breastfeeding
About the Director
UW Healthlink Article

Contact Info:

Program Coordinator
UW Department of Psychiatry
6001 Research Park Blvd.
Madison, WI 53719-1179
(608) 263-5000

PPD Newsletter

For Healthcare Professionals

Early detection, referral and treatment are critical components of improving both the motherís quality of life and that of her baby and family. With treatment, it is shown that the impact of PPD on babies may be minimal. But, if the depression remains untreated and becomes a chronic, recurrent condition, it can impact the mother-infant attachment relationship and can contribute to delays in the childís cognitive and language development, behavioral problems or other psychological issues. If you are a professional interested in implementing screening, please contact us for consultation and assistance at (608) 263-5000.

Opportunities for screening for Postpartum Depression:
Prenatal Assessment:
  • Prenatal mood can be a predictor of postnatal depression (Evans, 2001)
  • 23% of women with postpartum depression had symptoms that started in pregnancy (Watson, 1984)
  • Depressed mood in pregnancy has been associated with poor attendance to prenatal clinics, substance misuse, low birth-weight, and pre-term delivery (Evans, 2001)

  • Hospital Post-Delivery Assessment:
  • Too early to make a diagnosis of postpartum depression
  • Can provide an opportunity to screen for risk factors associated with PPD: low SES, lack of social support, personal or family history of mood disorders, stressful life events (Wisner, 2002) and refer for public health nurse visits

  • OB/GYN 6-week Follow Up Visit:
  • Good time to check in with mom at an appointment that is focused on her wellbeing
  • Significantly beyond the 2-week point that distinguishes the postpartum blues from postpartum depression

  • Pediatric Well-Baby Visit:
  • Pediatricians are a motherís most frequent health contact during the period of greatest risk for PPD
  • Most women who have PPD often do not recognize their symptoms of depression and do not seek professional care
  • Pediatricians have a unique opportunity to assess women and to provide early intervention, education, and appropriate referral

  • To make a referral to the Postpartum Depression Treatment Program, please call our Program Coordinator at 608-263-5000. Because it might be difficult for a depressed woman to find the time or energy to initiate services, you may wish to ask her consent to make the referral yourself and call us with her contact information. Medication is not an exclusionary criterion for our treatment program.

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