MONDAY, March 14, 2022 (HealthDay News) — First-time mothers, young mothers, and mothers of twins report the highest rates of postpartum depressive symptoms (PDS), according to a study published in the March 15 issue of the Journal of Affective Disorders.

Helen Bradshaw, M.D., from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, and colleagues surveyed women using the Flo app to evaluate the association between maternal age, parity, gestational number, newborn gender, and self-reported PDS. The analysis included more than 1.1 million women from 138 countries.

The researchers found that 9.4 percent of women overall reported PDS. Reports of PDS decreased with advancing age (18 to 24 years, 10 percent; 35 to 39 years, 6.5 percent; and 40 years or older, 6.9 percent), while first-time mothers reported higher rates of PDS. Higher symptom burden was also seen among twin births versus singleton births, with mothers of twins in the oldest age group reporting the greatest burden. There were no clinically significant differences observed in rates of PDS between mothers of singleton girls and boys.

“Clinicians caring for new mothers can be aware of factors like age, first pregnancy, and twin pregnancies that put women at a higher risk of developing postpartum depression and screen and intervene early,” a coauthor said in a statement.

Two study authors are employees of Flo Health.

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