Counseling urged to prevent depression in at-risk new moms

(MGN/file)

WASHINGTON (AP) Doctors already are supposed to screen new mothers for depression.

Now they're also being urged to identify women at risk because counseling could prevent depression from setting in.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force issued the recommendation Tuesday.

Up to 1 in 7 women experience what's called perinatal depression, depression during pregnancy or after childbirth.

The task force says women with a range of risk factors including previous depression might benefit from preventive counseling.

The recommendation was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

An accompanying editorial cautions that women may need easier-to-access options such as counseling via smartphone, and that doctors must offer quick additional help if depression strikes.