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Distinguishing between prenatal and postpartum depression is essential. Prenatal depression is the term used to describe a mood disorder that targets women during their pregnancy, while postpartum depression is a form of depression that occurs right after giving birth. Incidences of prenatal and postpartum depression are relatively common, but new guidelines established by the U.S Preventive Services Task Force are working towards minimizing the number of cases. The current numbers are relatively high for two reasons; (1) the lack of health services which may include therapists, (2)apart from Massachusetts, the rest of the U.S states have yet to recognize this issue as a public health emergency. To be more specific, it is estimated that, “1 in 7 pregnant women and new mothers,” will be affected by either condition. These numbers are expected to rise about a woman’s circumstances, such as her marital and socioeconomic status, as well as previous mental health problems of her own (before pregnancy). The risk of experiencing this mental health illness can be attributed to those factors because it places feelings of uncertainty, a feeling known to cause distress. The women that fall into this category are placed at a one in three chance of developing either prenatal or postpartum depression.
There is a sense of urgency in the treatment of prenatal and postpartum depression because of the detrimental effects it could pose on the child and the mother, such as premature births and cognitive problems. Health officials would like to invest more time in the prevention of these forms of depression by providing more health services that in turn could protect the woman and her baby. Health experts have addressed the importance of