Pediatricians Urged to Screen New Mothers for Depression

October 25, 2010 - 5:43 AM

Chicago (AP) - An influential medical group says pediatricians should routinely screen new mothers for depression. Depression isn't just bad for moms: It can also harm their babies.

That's according to a new American Academy of Pediatrics report published Monday in the journal, Pediatrics. It cites research showing developmental and social delays in babies with depressed mothers.

The academy says that every year more than 400,000 babies are born to depressed women. Estimates say that between 5 percent and 25 percent of women develop postpartum depression.

The pediatrics academy says severely depressed women should be referred to experts for treatment.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists earlier this year recommended similar screening.