Women in urban areas more at risk for postpartum depression



While the "baby blues" - crying and mood swings that come and go - are very common after giving birth as a woman's hormones return to pre-pregnancy levels, a serious ailment called postpartum depression can signal the need for interventions like treatment with Effexor.

While the "baby blues" - crying and mood swings that come and go - are very common after giving birth as a woman's hormones return to pre-pregnancy levels, a serious ailment called postpartum depression can signal the need for interventions like treatment with Effexor.

Nearly one in seven women is affected by postpartum depression, and a recent study from researchers at the University of Toronto revealed that these rates are typically higher in urban centers when compared with rural areas. The study, published in the August 2013 edition of the Canadian Medical Association Journal, used data from more than 6,000 respondents from the 2006 Canadian Maternity Experiences Survey to stratify women based on location: rural, semi-rural, semi-urban or urban. In the end, women who lived in cities were more likely to have postpartum depression than women living in the rural, semi-rural or semi-urban areas. The researchers speculated that these discrepancies are likely due to social connectivity and support.

"What we hypothesized is what's happening in smaller areas is there's actually more support because there's more access to family -- it's a much more family-oriented culture," scientist and psychiatrist Dr. Simone Vigod, told Global News. "Whereas in large populations, there are pockets of isolation...people are moving away from their families, working long hours, they have long commutes, and maybe their partners aren't around as much."

Additionally, researchers determined that women who immigrated to Canada were more likely to have postpartum depression than women born there, perhaps related to their lack of knowledge about the Canadian healthcare system and thus inadequate treatment for depression upon arrival.

The study identified other risk factors: women who gave birth before the age of 20, had unplanned or unwanted pregnancies, had a history of drug and alcohol abuse or a family history of anxiety disorder, depression or bipolar disorder.

What is postpartum depression?
Unlike the typical "baby blues," postpartum depression is a condition that doesn't go away without treatment, though it first appears after the birth of a child. Symptoms include severe mood swings, lack of joy, feeling overly tired, difficulty bonding with the baby, intense anger, insomnia, loss of appetite and thoughts of hurting yourself or your baby.

If a woman is experiencing these symptoms and having difficulty caring for herself and her baby, or if the depression doesn't fade after two weeks or get worse, she should visit a doctor who can prescribe Effexor or another SNRI or SSRI. Prescriptions can be filled at an online pharmacy at discounted rates.