Experts say recommendation, which also covers pregnant women, could prevent depression at critical stage for families

Women who are pregnant or have just given birth should receive counseling if they have risk factors for depression, a U.S. panel of experts has recommended for the first time, forcing many health plans to cover such services at no additional cost.

The recommendation was made Tuesday by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, a group whose guidance most insurance plans are required to follow. It also marks the latest expansion of efforts in the U.S. to reduce the dangers to women of having a baby, a growing concern: More women have been dying during pregnancy or right after, according to federal health statistics, and as many as 1 in 7 women suffer from depression either during pregnancy or after giving birth, the task force said.

Read Full Story