Most mothers have postpartum symptoms

June 18, 2010

LEIPZIG, Germany, June 18 (UPI) — As many as 70 percent of all mothers experience symptoms of postpartum depression but most recover quickly, German and Canadian researchers say.

Julia Sacher of the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Leipzig, Germany, and Jeffrey Meyer of the Center for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto, say levels of the enzyme monoamine oxidase A increase dramatically in the female brain in the days following delivery.

The researchers say enzyme levels were, on average, 43 percent higher in the brains of women who had just had a baby than in brains of women in the control group — women who had no children or had given birth a long time ago.

“Our results have the exciting potential for prevention for severe postpartum blues,” Sacher says in a statement. “This could have an impact on prevention and treatment of postpartum depression in the future.”

The findings are published in the Archives of General Psychiatry.


Author: Leslie Carol Botha

Author, publisher, radio talk show host and internationally recognized expert on women's hormone cycles. Social/political activist on Gardasil the HPV vaccine for adolescent girls. Co-author of "Understanding Your Mood, Mind and Hormone Cycle." Honorary advisory board member for the Foundation for the Study of Cycles and member of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research.