Bye-bye baby blues

A simple blood test could identify women at risk of postpartum depression

The horrifying effects of postpartum depression have been a guilt-ridden reality for women throughout the ages, but they’ve only recently become a matter of public discourse. Brooke Shields broke the cone of silence when she famously confessed to suffering suicidal thoughts during her darkest days. Now, researchers have found a way to prevent future generations of mothers from enduring the same mental anguish. A blood test measuring the level of a pregnancy hormone, placental corticotropin-releasing hormone (pCRH),  can identify 75 per cent of women who will develop postpartum depression. Researchers are hopeful that the test can be incorporated into the standard care pregnant women receive. Then soon-to-be mothers can take action to stave off postpartum depression. The report is published in the February issue of Archives of General Psychiatry.