Postpartum Depression

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (UPI) — Researchers have identified a biomarker in pregnant women’s blood which may indicate their risk for postpartum depression after giving birth.

Low levels of the hormone oxytocin are associated with postpartum depression, however the genetic regulation of the oxytocin receptor was found to predict women who may be predisposed for the condition.

Researchers said they were not surprised about the biomarker because oxytocin also is known to be important to healthy births, maternal bonding, and mood and emotional regulation.

“We can greatly improve the outcome of this disorder with the identification of markers, biological or otherwise, that can identify women who may be at risk for its development,” said Jessica Connelly, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Virginia, in a press release.


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