Firearm access increases the risk of suicide among all household members. The prevalence of loaded firearms in the home among those experiencing symptoms of postpartum depression (PPD) is unknown. We conducted a cross-sectional study using Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS) data from 2012 to 2019. We included participants from the nine jurisdictions that asked about loaded firearms in the home and who screened positive for PPD. We excluded participants whose infants were not alive at time of survey completion and who did not respond to the firearm question, resulting in an analytic sample of 4986 participants. Using PRAMS analytic weights, we estimated the prevalence of a loaded firearm in the home and the prevalence of screening for PPD based on having a loaded firearm in the home. Among PRAMS participants experiencing symptoms of PPD, 8.8% (95% CI: 7.6%, 10.1%) reported there was a loaded firearm in their home. Participants with a loaded firearm in their home were more likely to be White (81.3% vs. 60.6%) and live in a rural area (57.9% vs. 27.5%) than those without. Among participants who reported attending a postpartum checkup, 78.6% (95% CI: 67.0%, 90.2%) of those with a loaded firearm in their home reported having been asked by a provider if they were feeling depressed, compared to 88.7% (95% CI: 85.3%, 92.0%) of those without. About 1 in 11 birth parents experiencing symptoms of PPD report a loaded firearm in their home. Further screening for firearm access in this population may need to be considered.
Keywords: Firearms; Postpartum depression; Screening.
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