A new report claims perinatal depression and anxiety stemming from the births of children born in 2012 could cost Australia almost $500 million by the time the children turn two.
'Using projected birth numbers in 2012 and the current rates of perinatal depression in men and women, the report calculated the projected health-care and lost productivity costs to mothers, fathers, their children and the wider community of perinatal depression and anxiety not being treated.
It found that the total cost of not treating perinatal depression and anxiety stemming from approximately 290,000 births in 2012 would be $496 million by the time every one of those children had turned two.'
'............The report found the associated health cost relating to women who experience depression or anxiety during the perinatal period, including costs such as hospital bills as the mothers’ health worsens and leads to further illness, is $70 million for the year between the children’s first and second birthdays. The cost for fathers over the same period is $16 million.
The report also found that because women experiencing perinatal depression or anxiety are forced to take more time off work, there is an additional cost to the Australian economy of $142 million in lost productivity over the period between the children’s first and second birthdays.'
'..............The same cost to the economy of fathers’ lost productivity stemming from untreated perinatal depression or anxiety is $62 million.
The report predicts that because maternal depression and anxiety can also lead to poorer birth outcomes, such as higher risk of premature birth and low birth weight, there is an estimated associated health cost of $200 million as a result of treating these babies.'