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First-Time Mom: Higher Depression Risk

Postpartum Depression Risk Is Highest in Baby's First Month

Rapid Treatment

They also called for the rapid treatment of women with postpartum depression, which can benefit the new mom, her baby, and the entire family.

"Any form of screening program has to be combined with effective treatments," Sit tells WebMD. "Physicians, providers, and patients need to be informed about the different treatment options and the importance of providing treatment quickly."

Mothers-to-be should be made aware of the risks and the symptoms of postpartum depression, Sit says. Some symptoms -- such as poor concentration, extreme tiredness, sleep disturbances, and changes in appetite -- are common among new parents, even if they aren't depressed.

But other symptoms -- such as persistent anxiety or irrational fears, recurrent thoughts of dying or preoccupation with death, and thoughts of harming yourself or your baby -- should never be ignored.

"Maternal depression exacts a heavy toll on women and the health and well-being of their children," Sits and colleagues wrote.

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