Postpartum Depression Research

(Also Known As: Postpartum Research, Depression Research, Baby Blues Research, Pregnancy Depression Research, Maternity Blues Research, Postpartum Exhaustion Research)

(Reviewed by: Paul Peterson, Licensed Therapist)

Postpartum Depression Related Research


A research study was conducted on the efficiency of two antidepressant drugs in alleviating the symptoms of depressive symptoms seen in postpartum depression and there were found to be no adverse effects to the breastfeeding babies on mothers using the medications. 7 According to a randomized study atricyclic antidepressant and SSRIs provide a comparable symptom reduction in women with postpartum depression. Tricyclic nortriptyline and SSRI sertraline were found to be equally effective in the response to the remissions of postpartum depression. They found these drugs to be reasonable medication treatments for postpartum disorder after a series of clinical studies done provided the conclusion that there were no adverse effects in babies whose breastfeeding mothers are taking these medications. Tests showed that the infant’s serum level remains near or below the level of quantifiability for these drugs. Their findings have a significant impact, since most researches identified that the onset of postpartum depression usually occurs within the first 3 months after giving birth in 15% of patients which is the period where breastfeeding is done by mothers.


The Department of Ambulatory Care and Prevention of the Harvard Medical School and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care studied the association of diabetes with perinatal depression among low income mothers. Diabetes complicates 9% of pregnancies while perinatal depression affects 10 to 20 percent of new mothers. Both factors have a high correlation on the impact of major depression to occur postpartum. The result of the study showed that women who gave birth have associated depression for those with gestational diabetes. Gestational or pre-pregnancy diabetes can also increase the risk of perinatal depression with a likely onset of depression postpartum. 8


The Department of Family Health Care Nursing of the University of California studied the patterns of sleep disturbances experience by childbearing women from the third trimester of pregnancy until the postpartum period. They also studied the relationship between depression and sleep patterns among pregnant women through the postpartum period. The outcome of the study showed that the sleep disturbance and depressive symptoms are usually associated during the third trimester and during the third month postpartum periods. 9

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