The use of lactation consultants in a universal postpartum depression prevention intervention
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Undergraduate honors thesis / Open Access
Postpartum depression (PPD) is a major depressive episode experienced by up to 20% of women up until a year after childbirth, and is caused by a combination of biological, psychological and social factors. PPD can have a great impact on maternal well-being, causing women to have difficulty caring for their infants, obstetric complications or a general sense of guilt and hopelessness. Additionally, it can cause delayed neonatal development in infants and delayed speech and motor skills in the first year of life. Although various therapeutic programs have been developed to prevent the development of depressive symptoms, there are few preventative interventions that have been studied on a health system-level, and none based in the United States. Given the existing mental health benefits of breastfeeding and lactation consultations, as well as their current presence and insurance coverage in the US healthcare system, lactation consultants may be the best healthcare providers to implement a preventative intervention for PPD. Therefore, this review aims to explore the need for a preventative program for PPD and the possibility of utilizing lactation consultants to conduct mental health counseling, and to ultimately propose a study through which to determine if training lactation consultants to administer psychological counseling to patients could act as an effective universal preventive intervention for PPD
Vadnai, S. (2023, April 27). The use of lactation consultants in a universal postpartum depression prevention intervention [Unpublished undergraduate honors thesis]. Yeshiva University.
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