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Postnatal depression 'result of staff problems'

One of the symptoms of depression is chronic low mood

Staffing problems within the NHS are resulting in postnatal depression for some new mothers.

This is the view of a recent study conducted by a psychiatrist at Leicester University.

The research project found that around three in ten cases of postnatal depression could be avoided if properly-trained health visitors were available to help new mothers.

However, many areas are seeing cuts being made to the service which has led to health visitors being unable to visit every new mother's home even once.

Professor Terry Brugha, a psychiatrist at Leicester University, said: "Up until now, it was thought that depression could only be treated when it is picked up by a GP or health visitor.

"But this study shows that women are less likely to become depressed in the year after childbirth if they are attended by an NHS health visitor."

Health visitors are responsible for tracking the progress of the infant and offering advice on subjects like breast feeding.

Depression treatment news : 19 August 2010