General Anesthesia During Cesarean Delivery Linked To Severe PPD

by Paromita Datta published on -

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Postpartum depression is a very common phenomenon post-delivery. Recent research revealed that general anesthesia may be a major reason behind it. Published in the journal Anesthesia and Analgesia, the study found that general anesthesia when administered for cesarean delivery, was associated with higher odds of developing severe postpartum depression (PPD) when compared to neuraxial anesthesia. In an overwhelming number of cases, PPD led to thoughts of suicide or self-harm and eventually required hospitalization.

The team used a cohort study of cesarean deliveries that took place in New York State hospitals over a period of eight years, from Jan’06 to Dec’13. The team focused on women from New York who had undergone only one cesarean operation during this period. Women who received general anesthesia for other surgeries or deliveries before this study period were excluded.

A sad looking woman suffering from postpartum depression

General anesthesia may increase the chances of postpartum depression. Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

In all 428,204 cases were considered of which 34,356 received general anesthesia. Of these 1158 women developed severe PPD requiring hospitalization. The chances of developing PPD was 54 percent higher when compared to neuraxial anesthesia. The chances of severe PPD with suicidal thoughts or self-harm were 91 percent higher. The study concluded that general anesthesia should be avoided as the first resort and when administered, the women should receive adequate post-operative mental health care. 

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About the Author

Paromita Datta covers the latest health and wellness trends for Organic Facts. An ex-journalist who specialized in health and entertainment news, Paromita was responsible for managing a health supplement for The New Indian Express, a leading national daily in India. She has completed her post-graduation in Business Administration from the University of Rajasthan and her diploma in journalism from YMCA, Delhi. She has completed an e-course, Introduction to Food and Health, from Stanford University, US.

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