Research Suggests the Power of Social Support in Fighting Postpartum Depression

There’s a lot to be said for the new mother’s support system. Having a baby, whether it is the first for the woman or the 10th, can be a traumatic and emotional experience. Without the right approach to her mental health, there may be a risk for postpartum depression.UCLA researchers have found that the stronger the social support from the family, the less likely the individual mother will develop postpartum depression. This assumption is based on research provided by UCLA researchers who argue that such support provides important biological protection as it prevents significant increases in a specific stress hormone.

Such findings can play a key role in helping physicians assist pregnant mothers and their families in designing a plan for after the baby is born. The woman who is trying to go it alone or receives little support at home may be in danger of a heightened stress hormone. Families can be advised on how to deliver the needed support to suppress the likelihood of this common depressive state.

Preparing this plan may be necessary even before the baby arrives. Research in this field suggests that the pCRH levels increase during the third trimester. Those pregnant women with the most dramatic increase tend to demonstrate the most severe postpartum depression.

This assessment can also help women who have a heightened stress hormone who may struggle with depression when not pregnant. Social support can fight the stress responses and may be able to help women maintain greater mental health.

Such assumptions may demand additional research for help in the development of effective treatments, although early indicators suggest that not all depression treatments involve medication.

Posted on January 27th, 2014
Posted in Depression

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