Thanks to stars like Brooke Shields, Gwyneth Paltrow and Amanda Peet, postpartum depression (PPD) is no longer a dirty little secret. All three of the ladies have been open and honest when disclosing their battles with the disorder following the birth of their children. More than simply the "baby blues," PPD is believed to affect between 15 and 20 percent of all mothers. With that many women experiencing PPD, wouldn't it be nice if we knew what caused it so we could try to prevent it? Some Spanish researchers think they can.
A group of scientists believe they have pinpointed a number of factors that will help identify the potential for a new mama to develop the illness with an 80 percent success rate. According to them, the mother's age and her working status throughout her pregnancy can influence the onset of the disease. Older women and expectant gals who worked were found to have lower instances of depression. The study also found that a family history of psychiatric problems and the existence of specific genes in the brain could predict the onset of PPD.
Would knowing these predictors have been helpful to you or a friend who suffered from postpartum depression?