Most Women Are Receiving Inadequate Postpartum Care, Finds Study

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According to a recent study conducted by the University of Massachusetts (UMass) Amherst researchers, most women are receiving inadequate services during their comprehensive postpartum medical checkup. As per the findings women receive fewer than half the recommended services. The study was published on November 10 in a journal called JAMA Network Open.

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The research was co-conducted by authors Kimberley Geissler and Laura Attanasio – both assistant professors of health policy and management at the School of Public Health and Health Sciences. They were assisted by graduate student Brittany Ranchoff and undergraduate student Michael Cooper. The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality have funded the study. The researchers analysed the ‘National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey’, which represented data from more than 20 million postpartum office visits to an obstetrician-gynecologist or family medicine doctor in the period between 2009 and 2016.

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What You Should Know: 

  • A recent study found that most women are receiving inadequate postpartum medical care.
  • Research showed that less than recommended time is devoted to postpartum medical check-ups.
  • Additionally, women do not receive adequate care for perinatal depression. 
  • The study concluded that there is substantial room for improvement in the delivery of postpartum care.

Study Finds Inadequacy In Postpartum Medical Care For Women

One of the key findings of the study is that the time devoted to postpartum medical check-ups is insufficient. The researchers found that such medical visits average approximately 17 minutes. “Is that enough time to provide these services? I don’t know. The pressure to see more patients in an increasingly short time is a known issue in the U.S. health care system, so it’s not surprising we see that here, too,” opined Geissler.

The study also found substantial evidence to stipulate that women don’t receive adequate care for perinatal depression. Despite an increase in awareness about the same, only one in 11 female patients surveyed by the researchers received a screening for depression. The said screening is a part of the assessment for physical, social and psychological well-being recommended by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). Attanasio commented, “We need to look at why depression screening is not happening. This is an important factor in women’s health for the rest of their lives. Even if you’re missing some of the recommended services, this one should be universal among this population.”

Also Read: Postpartum Depression: I almost wanted to give up my child for adoption

Overall, the study underlined the “importance of efforts to reconceptualise postpartum care to ensure women have access to a range of supports to manage their health during this sensitive period.” It also concluded that there is substantial room for improvement in the delivery of postpartum care.

PC: MediaNews4U

Tarini Gandhiok is an intern with SheThePeople.TV