The Washington Post reported Monday that a new study in the Archives of General Psychiatry suggests that age, marital status, health status, stressful life events and history of traumatic experiences were all significantly associated with higher risk of psychiatric disorders in pregnant and postpartum women.

Overall, however, they found pregnancy itself is not associated with increased risk of the most common mental disorders. They did identify that women with a particularly high prevalence of psychiatric disorders, included those aged 18 to 25, living without a partner, widowed, separated, divorced or never married, and those who experienced pregnancy complications or stressful life events.

"Given the critical importance of this life period for mothers and their offspring, urgent action is needed to increase detection and treatment of psychiatric disorders among pregnant and postpartum women in the United States," the researchers wrote.

Urgent action indeed!

Here is a link to the postpartum depression study in the Archives of General Psychiatry.