By Dr. Brian McDonough

Philadelphia (CBS) — There have been several studies in the past few weeks looking at postpartum depression. This is a far more common problem than most people think.

Of course there are different levels of depression: from minor to major depression. Postpartum depression encompasses them all and the combined incidence is as high as fifteen percent.

Postpartum major depression is about five percent in the first three months. There are certain things that increase the risk. The strongest risk factor is postpartum depression in a previous pregnancy. Other risk factors include a history of depression at other times in a woman’s life as well as poor social support or major life changes.

There are some studies looking at women who have twins and multiple births being at greater risk. Of course the major point is to recognize the issue and get help.

Postpartum depression can be treated effectively.

Reported By Dr. Brian McDonough, KYW Newsradio Medical Editor

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