Postpartum Depression How Google is making it easier for women to assess their symptoms and access the resources they need In the midst of the holiday season and ongoing pandemic, new moms are experiencing a unique set of stressors and may be feeling more isolated. As a result, it’s important that women have access to the resources and help they need. The postpartum reality The US Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health (OWH) estimates that about 1 in 9 women experience symptoms of postpartum depression (PPD) after giving birth, making it one of the most common postpartum complications. Women who experience PPD may feel: EXHAUSTED IRRITABLE INTENSELY SAD, ANXIOUS OR HOPELESS These feelings can prevent them from being able to carry on with their day-to-day lives. The holiday blues The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) reported that: ABOUT 24% of people with mental illness find that the holidays make their condition “a lot” worse. 40% of people find that the holidays make their condition “somewhat” worse. The pandemic’s impact The ongoing pandemic has left many new moms in a more vulnerable state than they were to begin with. According to recent study results, when asked about the impact of COVID-19: 78% of new mothers reported an increase in stress. When asked about their mental health, responses from new mothers showed the serious toll the pandemic has caused. % of women who had responses indicating depression 15% pre-pandemic 41% during pandemic % of women who had responses indicating moderate to high anxiety 29% pre-pandemic 72% during pandemic The case for screening Studies have shown that when clinically validated tools like the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) are used to routinely screen new mothers for PPD, the likelihood of diagnosis is improved – enabling them to seek treatment in a timely manner. Support from loved ones Several studies have demonstrated that support from loved ones has a measurable impact on women experiencing PPD: STRESS REDUCTION QUICKER RECOVERY TIME IMPROVEMENT IN MOOD OVERALL SENSE OF WELLBEING How Google can help Millions of people come to Google each day searching for answers to their health questions, many of which relate to mental health symptoms. Now, when a new mother or her partner comes to Google looking for information, support or resources related to PPD, we’ve developed a tool that can be used by the new mother to take the EPDS questionnaire, and connect her to important resources. This assessment covers many of the same questions a health professional may ask. This is the fourth mental health self-assessment directly available from Google Search. Users who search for information about anxiety, depression and PTSD can also access clinically validated questionnaires that provide more information to help understand potential symptoms and, in collaboration with NAMI and OWH, links to resources about those conditions. Your answers in the screeners are private and secure. Google does not collect or share answers or results from the questionnaire. Learn more by searching postpartum depression If you think you or a loved one might be experiencing symptoms of postpartum depression, search on Google for more information and you'll have access to a clinically-validated questionnaire called the EPDS. It's important to note that this self-assessment is for informational purposes and not intended to help you diagnose a medical condition. You should talk to a doctor or other care provider for advice or to discuss what your results may mean for your overall health.