Peripartum (Postpartum) Depression

Peripartum Depression affects up to 6 percent of women during pregnancy, and is a Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). Postpartum Depression occurs in the first year following delivery.  It is also estimated that 50 percent of all MDD episodes actually begin prior to delivery or postpartum. For this reason, all incidents are referred to collectively as “peripartum.”

Common Symptoms

Common symptoms include: sadness; bouts of crying, feelings of guilt, anxiety and fear; xxtreme difficulty in day-to-day functioning; insomnia; appetite change; even thoughts of self-harm or harming the infant.

Baby Blues

Unlike the joy and excitement of the expected birth of a new baby, mothers-to-be may also experience a mild form of depression during the first week or two after child birth known as “baby blues” which commonly include mood swings, crying spells, anxiety, and difficulty sleeping.

Postpartum depression is often initially mistaken for baby blues, but the signs and symptoms are much more intense and last longer. In addition they typically interfere with the ability to care for the baby.

Studies suggest that women who experience postpartum depression have often had earlier experiences of depression that were not diagnosed or treated. 

New Fathers

Postpartum depression also occurs in new fathers. Sometimes called paternal postpartum depression, younger fathers who have experienced depression have relationship problems or financial difficulties and are most at risk for postpartum depression.

If you or your partner are feeling depressed after your baby’s birth, call your doctor and schedule an appointment as soon as possible.

This report is not a diagnosis. We hope the information can guide you toward improving your life.

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