Digital Version of CBT May Help to Prevent Postpartum Depression

According to a study, dCBT, a digital cognitive behavioral therapy version, which has in a previous study been shown to help reduce insomnia while pregnant, could also help prevent postpartum depression as well as reduce anxiety and insomnia in women as long as 6 months after giving birth.1✅ JOURNAL REFERENCE
DOI: 10.1093/sleep/zsab280

The study revealed that women who were not depressed that were treated with dCBT for insomnia while pregnant also experienced better sleep and were less depressed several months into the postnatal period. This is a follow-up to another study that found dCBT helped to reduce insomnia, anxiety, and depression symptoms while pregnant.

Approximately 38% of women experience insomnia while pregnant, which is consequently linked to a 30% higher pre-term birth risk.

Other research on preventing postpartum depression, which impacts as much as 15% of women, has focused on those with a depression history or sub-clinical symptoms of depression.

This study included 208 individuals, with 105 of them randomized to treatment with dCBT, a sleep app know as Sleepio that individuals made use of for 20 minutes at a stretch for up to 6 sessions. At 3 months postnatal, 4% of participants who made use of the app were graded as likely depressed, in comparison to 18% of the participants who received normal care.

Normal care consisted of medication or general tips on sleep hygiene provide by physicians and other practitioners. dCBT is more individualized and deals with the factors known to be responsible for insomnia and could be more effective.

Individuals can set their own goals, and recommendations for treatment are tailored according to what their sleep from the previous week was like. The beauty of the treatment is what takes place between sessions, the tactics that are put into practice by the individuals like stabilizing wake time, maintaining a sleep diary, less time spent tossing and turning in bed, and prioritizing a satisfactory winding down before going to sleep.

Postpartum Depression Hb

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