During the postpartum period, there is a lot contact between pregnant mothers and the medical professionals. Despite this, caregivers and patients have frequently overlooked postpartum affective illness. They end up sidelining PPD more often as a normal or natural outcome of delivery. The cases of persistent depressive symptoms are commonly reported by women a number of months prior to treatment initiation (Kleiman & Raskin, 2008). Even though depression symptoms may occur immediately, still there are many women who remain depressed long after childbirth, say a year later.
As already looked at above, is hard to predict those at risk of postpartum psychiatric illnesses. Every woman is vulnerable notwithstanding their age, socioeconomic status, education levels or matrimonial status. Men rarely experience this syndrome simply because they are not as close to childbirth and pregnancy as women. However there exist numerous risk factors associated with the syndrome. Those with history of PPD or postpartum psychosis, family or personal history of experiencing depression or mood disorders , even during the present pregnancy are at the greatest risk of PPD. Marital discord or dissatisfaction, insufficient social asistance, financial stress and negative events in life are additional risk factors (Kleiman & Raskin, 2008).
Women have to be screened both prior to and subsequent to delivery. Screening during pregnancy is very helpful as it may also be used to establish women who at a great risk of PPD. To detect postpartum depression, Edinburg Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) is used. EDPS is a self-rated questionnaire widely used to detect PPD. On the scale, if one scores 10 or more, or if there is a positive answer on question 10, it implies that the patient is experiencing suicidal thoughts and it calls for the responsible clinician to carry out a scrupulous evaluation. The EPDS has to be scheduled in routine pediatric and well-baby visits (Shields, 2006).
There has not been any advantage of one screening tool compared to others but on a large scale; there are two commonly used questions that have been used as effective tools. The questions are: 1. Over the past 2 weeks have you felt down, depressed, or hapless? And 2. Over the past 2 weeks have you felt little interest or pleasure in doing things? (Shields, 2006). The process of screening can be effective if that has systems that will encourage a follow-up on the positive outcomes with consequent diagnosis and treatment in place.