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Study Finds Postpartum Anxiety More Common than Depression

Hemera/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Many mothers are screened for depression after giving birth, but a new study shows that postpartum anxiety is even more common in the days and months following delivery.

The study, published in the journal Pediatrics, followed 1,132 U.S. women who gave birth between 2006 and 2009. The women were surveyed immediately after birth and followed for six months.

Seventeen percent of mothers had postpartum anxiety, according to the study. Most of the cases of postpartum anxiety discovered in the study were in first-time mothers or mothers who gave birth via Cesarean delivery.

Two weeks after delivery, the study found that anxiety levels dropped drastically. However, postpartum anxiety was linked with reduced duration of breastfeeding and increased use of health care.

While screening for postpartum depression is common, given the higher rate of postpartum anxiety, the study calls for wider screening for the mental impact of delivery on mothers.

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