Recent research has revealed a surprising link between inflammation and depression. Although inflammation was first identified as a risk factor for postpartum depression in the late 1990s, researchers have recently learned that it underlies all the other risk factors. All other known causes of depression, such as pain, psychological trauma, lack of social support, or sleep problems, trigger the inflammatory response.
This research tells us why women are vulnerable to depression in the last trimester of pregnancy and postpartum. It also explains the link between depression in pregnancy and preterm birth, and why breastfeeding protects maternal mood because it down-regulates the stress and inflammatory response.
- Dr Kathleen Kendall-Tackett
- 1 L CERP / 1 Pre-IBLCE exam hour
- Access period:
- One week
- Lecture recorded for Health e-Learning
Dr. Kendall-Tackett is a health psychologist, International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, and Owner and Editor-in-Chief of Praeclarus Press, a small press specializing in women's health. She is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association in the Divisions of Health and Trauma Psychology, and President-elect of the APA Division of Trauma Psychology. She is a Clinical Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the Texas Tech University School of Medicine in Amarillo, Texas, and Research Associate at the Crimes against Children Research Center at the University of New Hampshire. She is Editor-in-Chief of Clinical Lactation, and was a founding Associate Editor of Psychological Trauma. She received (with Tom Hale) the 2011 John Kennell and Marshall Klaus Award for Excellence in Research from DONA International.