Pregnant Mothers with Strong Family Support Less Likely To Have Postpartum Depression

ISG postdoctoral fellow, Jennifer Hahn-Holbrook is interviewed by the UCLA Newsroom about her recent research into postpartum depression.

Excerpt: “Scientists recruited 210 pregnant women of different ethnicities and socioeconomic backgrounds, surveying them three times during pregnancy — at 19, 29 and 37 weeks — and then eight weeks after giving birth. The women were asked in interviews about how much support they received from their families and the child’s father and about their symptoms of depression. In addition, blood samples from all participants were analyzed to assess their levels of placental corticotropin-releasing hormone (pCRH), a stress hormone released from the placenta.  After taking into account factors such as age, education and income, Hahn-Holbrook and her colleagues discovered that pregnant women who reported the greatest support from their families had lower levels of depressive symptoms. They also had the least dramatic increases in pCRH and the lowest absolute levels of pCRH in the third trimester of pregnancy.”

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