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Postnatal depression is a common experience for women after the birth of a baby, affecting at least 1 in 10 mothers in the UK. For some mothers feeling low may last for a relatively short period of time, whereas others can experience symptoms for many months. Postnatal depression can be associated with negative effects on the child and the risks are increased when the depression persists. Previous research suggests that treating maternal depression alone may not be sufficient to mitigate any possible effects on children’s development.
A team of researchers at the University of Oxford’s Department of Psychiatry, led by Alan Stein, conducted a randomised controlled treatment trial for women experiencing persistent depression in the postnatal period.