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Maternal depression 'most common when child is four'

Depression is more common in first-time mothers when the child is four years old than at any time during the 12 months after giving birth, according to a new study.

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'Rethink' needed in approaches to maternal health

The authors of a new study into maternal depression said their findings make a "compelling" case for a rethink in approaches to how to support mothers.

Dr Hannah Woolhouse, psychologist and senior research officer said:

It is likely that current systems of maternal mental health surveillance in Australia and the UK will miss more than half the women experiencing depression in the early years of parenting.

In particular, women who do not have subsequent children may be especially vulnerable to falling through the gaps as they will not be reconnected back into primary care services.

There also needs to be a focus on social health and relationships as we have found a strong link between depressive symptoms and intimate partner violence.

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