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Abused Women More Likely to Experience Post-Partum Depression

U.S researchers say that Hispanic women who experience domestic abuse during pregnancy or shortly before getting pregnant have five times increased risk to acquire postpartum depression.

The results of the study imply that violence received from intimate partners is a stronger precursor of postpartum depression instead of prenatal depression. Previously, depression occurring before pregnancy is often considered as the most remarkable risk factor to postpartum depression.

The study was carried out by researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles. They selected 210 women from Los Angeles to participate in the study. The respondents were aged 18-years and older, Hispanic in race.

In the study, the researchers found out that those women who underwent domestic violence at some point in their pregnancy or within a year before their pregnancy were 5.4 times more prone to experience postpartum depression. This is in comparison to those who have not experienced recent abuse from intimate partners.

Also, the study revealed that women who have suffered from prenatal depression have 3.5 times increased possibility to get postpartum depression compared to those who have not suffered from prenatal depression.

Postpartum depression, also referred to as postnatal depression, is a type of depression which usually affects woman after childbirth. According to studies report, prevalence rates among women range from 5% to 25%. It often occurs in the first few months and may even last up to a year. Symptoms include fatigue, sadness, anxiety and irritability.

The findings of the study suggest that pregnant woman should be screened for both intimate partner violence and prenatal depression, the researchers said.

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