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Fish eases post-natal depression

By John von Radowitz

Published 16/11/2012

Eating more fish could help protect vulnerable women from post-natal depression, research suggests. Evidence points to low levels of omega-3 fatty acid, chiefly found in oily fish, playing a key role in the condition.

A combination of omega-3 deficiency and genetic factors may trigger depression after childbirth, scientists believe.

Between 10% and 15% of mothers are believed to suffer post-natal, or post-partum depression (PPD) during the first year after giving birth.

The condition is more serious than “baby blues”, a mild reaction that commonly occurs within the first few days of delivery, but much less severe than post-partum psychosis which affects fewer than one in 500 mothers.

Mothers with PPD tend to be disengaged, unresponsive and even hostile towards their children, who may suffer psychiatric problems as a result.

But scientists in Canada said the evidence was preliminary and needed to be confirmed.

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