Razia Aliani, Bakhtawar Khuwaja.
Epidemiology of Postpartum Depression in Pakistan: A Review of Literature.
Natl J Health Sci Jan ;2(1):24-30.

Objective: This literature review aims to explore the risk factors, preventive measures and treatment options for women with postpartum depression especially in Pakistan. Introduction: Postpartum depression affects 12.5% women on average and is one of the most common complications of pregnancy. Among Asian countries, Pakistan has the highest prevalence rate that is 28%- 63%. The consequences of PPD go beyond the mother and affect the partner and the child as well and can even lead to infanticide and maternal death, often by suicide. Besides, not all women are assessed for PPD or receive its treatment despite of several treatment options available. Method: Comprehensive and systematic literature search was undertaken by using various electronic research databases. Studies were eligible for this review if they were published in last twenty years in English language and focused on epidemiology, risk factors, consequences, prevention and treatment of PPD especially in Pakistan. Results: Postpartum depression is a prevalent illness, with complications that are severe. The causes can be situational or maternal and thus, recommended prevention is to reduce the burden related to public health. If primary prevention fails, programs for screening to detect early can be well thought-out for timely treatment. If there is any progress in the disease, implementation of antidepressant, effectual psychotherapy besides the recommended diet are beneficial. Exercise and appropriate sleep as well are also recommended for the patients. Moreover, barriers to each level of prevention exist due to maternal factors, healthcare factors and socioeconomic factors in Pakistan. Conclusion: Results suggest that women do not proactively seek help when suffering from postpartum depression due to many factors, the root cause of which is lack of awareness especially in developing countries like Pakistan. Since this ignored illness can lead to serious complications, the issue should be addressed to promote public health.

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