A review of postpartum depression for the primary care physician

South Med J. 2004 Feb;97(2):157-61; quiz 162. doi: 10.1097/01.SMJ.0000091029.34773.33.


Postpartum depression (PPD) occurs more commonly in U.S. women than most physicians realize. PPD is present in at least 10% and up to 20% of women in the United States within the first 6 months of delivery. The rate may be 25% or higher in women with a history of postpartum depression after a previous delivery. Over half of all women who develop postpartum depression still suffer symptoms a year later. This condition causes tremendous morbidity in terms of suffering and decreased quality of life. As with other psychiatric disorders, patients with PPD are more likely to seek help from their primary care doctors than from mental health professionals. Therefore, these providers should be equipped with the knowledge and tools necessary to properly care for women with PPD.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Depression, Postpartum* / diagnosis
  • Depression, Postpartum* / epidemiology
  • Depression, Postpartum* / therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Primary Health Care
  • Psychotherapy
  • United States / epidemiology