The study, led by the University of North Carolina, will use smartphone technology to gather data from patients about their experiences during pregnancy and delivery, as well as how they are feeling.
Women do not have to be currently suffering from depression to take part in the study, as all information would be valuable to identify the risk factors of postpartum depression.
Some women who use the iPhone app may be asked to volunteer to share genetic samples.
Researchers hope that thousands of women will take part in the study.
Dr Katherine Sharkey, one of the researchers for the study, said: “Once data are [sic] collected, I will participate in data analyses, interpretation of findings, writing papers with the results, and hopefully developing and implementing new prevention and treatment strategies for perinatal depression.”
Dr Katherine Sharkey highlighted that the perinatal period is a vulnerable time for women.
“We know that the children of mothers who suffer from postpartum depression are also negatively affected – they are more likely to suffer physical and emotional problems and to have trouble in school.
“By answering a few questions in the app, women who have current or past perinatal depression could help us make progress toward treating and preventing this devastating illness.”
Source: Medical Xpress