London: A new study by Dutch researchers has found that women who have complications in pregnancy or a difficult labour stand a much greater chance of having post-natal depression than those who do not.
Post-natal depression occurs most often in the first three months after delivery and can range from mild symptoms - sometimes called the ‘baby blues’ - to clinically diagnosed post-natal depression.
Women who are not diagnosed early enough can end up suffering for many months or even years.
The analysis of data from almost 5,000 women also revealed that one complication raises the chance of depression but this increases even further if more than one thing goes wrong.
The researchers found that women admitted to hospital during their pregnancy had more than twice the risk of post-natal depression as those who stayed out of hospital until delivery time.
Meanwhile, women with pre-eclampsia (linked to high blood pressure) were also more than twice as likely to suffer, the researchers found.
"Healthcare practitioners involved in the care for pregnant or postpartum women and their babies should be aware of the substantially increased risk of postpartum depression associated with complicated pregnancies and difficult deliveries," Sky News quoted the report’s co-author Pauline Jansen as saying.
"This increased awareness might contribute to quicker diagnosis of postpartum depression," Jansen added.