Postpartum Depression Research Roundup: Oxytocin, BDNF & the Value of Screening in the Hospital

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There's been a lot of research coming down the pike lately. Can't tell you that any of it means anything significant to you who are suffering at this very moment. But offering it up for the researchey peeps among you …

Link between oxytocin and postpartum depression

Link betweenbrain-derived neurotrophic factor and antenatal depression(depression during pregnancy)

Whether it's worth testing for PPD in the hospital right after delivery (looks like it may not be very effective, as PPD didn't show up in the majority of mothers screened 1-2 days postpartum)

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About Katherine Stone

is the founder & editor of Postpartum Progress. She was named one of the ten most influential mom bloggers of 2011, a WebMD Health Hero and one of the top 25 parent bloggers using social media for social good. She also writes the Fierce Blog, and a parenting column for Disney's Babble.com.

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  1. Thank you, those are helpful. Here in Western MA we are hoping to have pediatricians who are trained and willing to screen as moms typically see them somewhere between a few days and 2 weeks out depending on the practice. Already in one of our counties, this is happening – more to follow, I hope. Of course, OBs, nurses and midwives will also screen at the 6 weeks postpartum check, but that is a long time for moms to wait if they are suffering, isn't it?
    I'm not really surprised by the oxytocin findings but it isn't clear what they mean yet. It would be so great to get more information. I'm particular hoping to hear more one day soon about synthetic pitocin and any interaction it may have with postpartum depression.
    Thanks again!

  2. Oxytocin is made from nine amino acids and the nutrient cofactors that help produce the hormone. If a woman does not have adequate nutrition to make the baby and placenta, go through labor and delivery; and produce breast milk she will not have adequate levels of oxytocin. Many times toxicity in the body will prevent the uptake of micronutrients (remember the news of late on how many chemicals are in cord blood and breast milk?) And, poor quality prenatal vitamins are doing women a great disservice. All a mother has to do is look at what is missing from her prenatal vitamin to see why I use broad spectrum nutrients in my practice. They make a huge difference.