Government-appointed health panel United States Preventive Services Task force recommended for the first time Tuesday that women should be screened for depression both during pregnancy and after giving birth. The recommendation follows new evidence that maternal mental illness is more prevalent than previously and that, left untreated, it can adversely affect children.
While depression screenings have been recommended before, this marks the first time pregnant women and new moms were emphasized. "Policy makers will pay attention to it," said Katy Kozhimannil, a University of Minnesota public health professor. "Increased screening and detection of depression is an enormous public health need."
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