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Mar 19

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What Could be Responsible for Postpartum Depression?

What Could be Responsible for Postpartum Depression?

Researchers have been trying to figure out what causes postpartum depression in women. Now, Tufts University School of Medicine has found one possible answer. Will this study change how women are treated?

Study Results

The study was published in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology and revealed that there may be a broken biological mechanism responsible for postpartum depression. This means that there appears to be a biological cause for this type of depression in women.

They found that the biological pathway that control stress in women’s bodies can break down after pregnancy and lead to depression. This pathway is called the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. When a woman is pregnant, the HPA axis is suppressed, so the baby does not feel stress. But regulation problems with this pathway after a woman gives birth can cause problems.

What Does It Mean?

Although the researchers indicate that more studies will need to be done to understand the biological mechanism, this is still exciting news for women. First, it removes some of the stigma associated with this condition by showing it is a real concern. Second, it reveals that there is a biological mechanism behind it, so it is not just in someone’s head. Moreover, it shows that postpartum depression can be complicated and deserves more medical attention.

The next steps will be to study the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis in more detail and to figure out why the pathway breaks down. Then, researchers may be able to develop novel treatments to fix the pathway. All of this means that women may get better treatments for postpartum depression.

Many women are afraid to speak about their depression, especially after giving birth. The excitement surrounding the new baby can overshadow the mother. This is why it is crucial to determine why postpartum depression happens and how to help women.

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1 comment

  1. 1
    Debbie P

    I had this after I had my son.

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