Many Moms-to-be worry about postpartum mental health. Testing for hormone levels during pregnancy may take some of the uncertainty out of it.
A new study finds that women with a higher level of a hormone produced by the placenta, mid-way through their pregnancy, appear more likely to develop the condition. Doctors at Beth Israel Medical Center say they will administer antidepressants to pregnant women who are strong candidates for postpartum depression.
Recent studies show that as many as 19 percent of women suffer postpartum depression within the first three months after giving birth. And often new moms don't recognize the symptoms which puts them and their babies at risk.
In her depression, a new mother may pay less attention to the hygiene, feeding, sleeping or nurturing of her baby.
Researchers say in the future a simple blood test for the hormone pCRH at the end of the second tri-mester, could help determine their risk.