1. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommended routine screening for postpartum depression (PPD) in mothers during well-child visits at 1, 2, 4, and 6 months of age.
2. Training and continuing medical education programs should be available for pediatric providers so that they are familiar with PPD screening, referral, and community resources.
2. The AAP emphasized the importance of early identification and intervention for mothers with PPD in mitigating the impact on parent-child interaction and social-emotional development.
Policy Rundown: In a policy statement released today, the AAP addressed the importance of early identification and intervention of PPD. They noted that previous research has linked PPD to impaired social interaction and delays in language, cognitive, and social-emotional-development in infants, as well as impaired parent-child interaction, early discontinuation of breastfeeding, child abuse and neglect, and family dysfunction. In a 2013 survey of AAP members, less than half of pediatricians screened mothers for depression.
The AAP policy statement recommended treatment focused on the mother-infant dyad. Pediatricians should screen mothers for PPD during well-infant visits at 1, 2, 4, and 6 months, and refer mothers who screen positive for appropriate treatment. Additionally, family and community support resources should be discussed, and infants may be referred for early intervention programs.
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