Diagnosis of PPD

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Diagnosing perinatal and postpartum depressions is key to treating the ailment. However, PPD remains highly underdiagnosed in the United States. One study points to a lack of doctors and health care providers knowing about and using a universal screening tool. Even when clinicians know about good screening tools, they can be reluctant to use them for a fear they will be too time-consuming and expensive. In addition, health care providers might be unsure of how to proceed with treatment for women whose test scores show they have increased chances of developing PPD (including worries over medications for breastfeeding women).

A good tool to determine if a mother has PPD is the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale.

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Click here to download Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale forms.

In addition, health care providers need to find workshops at both the introductory and advanced skills levels to better recognize the signs and symptoms of PPD. On the advanced level, providers should attend workshops covering:

Workshops can be attended in person, through a teleconference or through the Web.

PPD, if left undiagnosed and untreated, can result in:

In addition, mothers could show poor prenatal behaviors, poor parenting behaviors, symptoms lasting longer and an increase risk of relapse.

Return to Risk Factors
Continue to Levels and Effects

For more information call:
TEL-LINK: 1-800-TEL-LINK or 1-800-835-5465
Email: info@dhss.mo.gov