According to new findings, postpartum depression has been medically proven to have a negative impact on mental health and cause long-term economic effects on women who are affected by it.
Study Author Slawa Rokicki, professor at Rutgers School of Public Health in New Brunswick, New Jersey, says that this new light emphasizes why access to mental health services is essential for pregnant and postpartum women who are in the low-income sector.
The findings were based on more than 4,300 analyzed data on U.S women who had children between 1998, 2000 and followed up in 2017.
The study shows that about 12% of women met the requirements for major depression after childbirth. All those women were natural-born citizens of the United States and were a part of the low-income sector. Data also have shown that these women received public assistance even before giving birth.
Financial hardship is now firmly tied to postpartum depression in the first year after giving birth; this entails the struggle of paying medical bills, putting food on the table, eviction, and homelessness that has been going on for years. In addition, according to the findings recently published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, postpartum depression is also heavily correlated to unemployment in the first three years right after childbirth and poverty 3 to 9 years after the delivery.
“This research also has implications for the cost-effectiveness of maternal health interventions. Our results imply that programs designed to lower the prevalence of maternal depression should be viewed not only as interventions that promote population health but also as interventions that increase economic well-being,” said study co-author Mark McGovern, an assistant professor in Rutgers’ School of Public Health.