Michael Jubinville, MPH
Postpartum depression (PPD) is a type of depression. It affects some women shortly after childbirth. It's common for women to have short term mood problems after giving birth. If it goes on for more than 2 weeks, it is called PPD.
The cause of PPD is unclear. The cause may be related to sudden hormonal changes during and after delivery.
Risk Factors TOP
Your chances of PPD are higher for:
Symptoms mainly happen within 6 months after childbirth. Sometimes, they may start during pregnancy. It may last for a few weeks to a few months. PPD ranges from mild to severe psychosis.
The most common are:
Serious symptoms may need care right away:
The doctor will ask about your symptoms and health history. Your answers may point to PPD. Certain symptoms must be present for at least 2 weeks nearly every day. You may have a physical exam and blood tests. Blood test can rule out other causes such as thyroid problems.
PPD is treated with one or both of the following:
To help lower your chances of PPD:
The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
Office on Women's Health
Canadian Psychological Association
Women's Health Matters—Women's College Hospital
ACOG Committee Opinion No. 650: physical activity and exercise during pregnancy and the postpartum period. Obstet Gynecol. 2015;126(6):e135-e142. Reaffirmed 2017.
Do I have a form of postpartum depression? American Pregnancy Association website. Available at:
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Updated August 2015. Accessed August 28, 2018.
Postpartum depression. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed... . Updated August 14, 2018. Accessed August 28, 2018.
Postpartum depression. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at: https://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/gynecology-and-obstetrics/postpartum-care-and-associated-disorders/postpartum-depression. Updated June 2018. Accessed August 28, 2018.
Postpartum depression. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists website. Available at:https://www.acog.org/Patients/FAQs/Postpartum-Depression. Updated December 2013. Accessed August 28, 2018.
Last reviewed May 2018 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Adrian Preda, MD
Last Updated: 8/28/2018
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