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Health Indicator Report of Postpartum Depression

Postpartum depression is the most common complication related to childbirth. While postpartum depression is treatable, many women who suffer from it remain undiagnosed. Untreated postpartum depression can last as long as one to two years and may affect the ability of a woman to function in normal daily tasks. Further, untreated postpartum depression may impact family relationships, a woman's ability to bond with her baby, and the cognitive development of her baby as well as other children in the home. There may be a variety of reasons a woman does not receive treatment for postpartum depression including the inability to recognize the signs and symptoms as well as the uncertainty of knowing who to ask for help.

Percentage of Utah Women Who Reported Postpartum Depression Symptoms by Race, Utah PRAMS, 2009-2011


Women were categorized as having reported postpartum depression symptoms if they answered 'Always' or 'Often' to either of these questions: "Since your new baby was born, how often have you felt down, depressed, or hopeless?" And, "Since your new baby was born, how often have you had little interest or little pleasure in doing things?" (Answer options included: always, often, sometimes, rarely, never.) ^The estimate has been suppressed because the relative standard error is greater than 50% or the observed number of events is very small and not appropriate for publication *Use caution in interpreting; the estimate has a relative standard error greater than 30% and does not meet UDOH standards for reliability.

Data Source

Utah Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS), Utah Department of Health

Data Interpretation Issues

The data here represent self-reported postpartum depression symptoms and not clinical diagnoses of postpartum depression. Women who reported seeking help for postpartum depression does not necessarily mean that they received treatment-- however, this is our best measure at present.


The percentage of Utah women who reported postpartum depression symptoms divided by the number of Utah women who delivered a live infant.


The number of Utah women who reported postpartum depression symptoms.


The number of Utah women who delivered a live infant.

Other Objectives

There is not a Healthy People 2020 objective targeting postpartum depression; however, the following (proposed) objectives are relevant: MHMD HP2020-13 Increase the proportion of adults with a mental disorder who receive treatment MHMD HP2020-15 Increase depression screening by primary care providers MHMD HP2020-16 Decrease the annual prevalence of Major Depressive Episode (MDE)

How Are We Doing?

For 2009-2011, the overall rate of self-reported postpartum depression symptoms in Utah women was 13.8%.

How Do We Compare With the U.S.?

There are no national data on postpartum depression. However CDC PRAMS recently published a study looking at 2004-2005 data from 17 states on postpartum depression symptoms. They found that the prevalence of self-reported postpartum depression symptoms ranged from 11.7% (Maine) to 20.4% (New Mexico) (1). (Utah's rate during 2004-2005 was 13.8%.)

What Is Being Done?

The Maternal and Infant Health Program (MIHP) has been working on increasing awareness of postpartum depression and the need to screen for it among health care providers through a variety of methods. Further, MIHP has done an extensive analysis of qualitative and quantitative data to uncover motivators and barriers of seeking medical help for postpartum depression. The program has shared these findings through oral/poster presentations at a variety of conferences. Also, these findings were recently published in the Journal of Midwifery and Women's Health. The MIHP continues to collaborate with Baby Your Baby to include a section on postpartum depression in their updated version of the Keepsake book which is distributed to pregnant women throughout the state. Additionally, the program has worked with State Medicaid staff members to include information on PPD in a "termination of coverage" notice women receive three to four months prior to losing Medicaid coverage 60 days postpartum. This information encourages women to seek help for PPD if needed before their coverage ends.
Page Content Updated On 05/07/2013, Published on 10/10/2013
The information provided above is from the Department of Health's Center for Health Data IBIS-PH web site ( The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: " Retrieved Mon, 26 September 2016 11:17:36 from Department of Health, Center for Health Data, Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health Web site: ".

Content updated: Tue, 28 Jul 2015 19:46:18 MDT