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Emotional and physical partner abuse are common in women reporting postnatal depressive symptoms
  1. Louise Michele Howard1,
  2. Louise Bundock2
  1. 1Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, London, UK
  2. 2South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to: Louise Michele Howard
    Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, De Crespigny Park, London SE5 8AF, UK; louise.howard{at}

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Postnatal depression (PND) is the commonest health problem associated with childbearing.1 In addition to the morbidity suffered by women, PND is associated with emotional and cognitive difficulties in the child.2 Outcomes are worst for children of mothers with chronic depression2 and it is therefore important to identify and treat PND as early as possible – NICE3 recommends case identification in the first 3 months postpartum.

There is also increasing recognition that partner abuse is associated with depression, and several recent studies have reported on the association between physical and emotional abuse in pregnancy and maternal antenatal and PND.4,,6 Antenatal abuse is also associated with …

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  • Competing interests LMH is a professional member of the Public Health Programme Development Group for the NICE guidance on Preventing and Reducing Domestic Violence between Intimate Partners (2012–2014) and a member of the Guideline Development Group for World Health Organisation Guideline on: Policy and Clinical Practice Guidelines for Responding to Violence against Women 2012. She is a London PI of an NIHR Programme Grant for Applied Research (RP-PG-0108-10084) on improving the healthcare response to domestic violence. LB has no competing interests.