It turns out that postpartum depression is more common among mothers of four-year-olds than among women in the first year after giving birth. That is the conclusion reached by researchers from Murdoch Children’s Research Institute in Victoria. They found that one in three women who became mothers for the first time, experienced depressive symptoms at least once between pregnancy and the fourth year of their child’s life.
Scientists denied the widespread idea that the postpartum depression peak occurs in the first year after giving birth. Women who gave birth only once run a twice-higher risk of getting depressed – 23% of one-child mothers face the depression four years after giving birth. Among women with several children, there are only 11%.
The researchers found that the main causes of depression are problems in family relationships, domestic violence, and low social status. Meanwhile, the vast majority of psychologists and psychiatrists working with young mothers, focus on helping them in the first months after birth, as it is believed to be a critical period for the development of postpartum depression.
In their study, Australian researchers used information on 1,507 women who became mothers for the first time. They completed questionnaires at 6, 12, 18 months, and 4 years after giving birth.