Postpartum depression

Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2009 Apr;200(4):357-64. doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2008.11.033.


Postpartum depression (PPD) affects up to 15% of mothers. Recent research has identified several psychosocial and biologic risk factors for PPD. The negative short-term and long-term effects on child development are well-established. PPD is under recognized and under treated. The obstetrician and pediatrician can serve important roles in screening for and treating PPD. Treatment options include psychotherapy and antidepressant medication. Obstacles to compliance with treatment recommendations include access to psychotherapists and concerns of breastfeeding mothers about exposure of the infant to antidepressant medication. Further research is needed to examine systematically the short-term and long-term effect of medication exposure through breastmilk on infant and child development.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Dangerous Behavior
  • Depression, Postpartum* / diagnosis
  • Depression, Postpartum* / epidemiology
  • Depression, Postpartum* / therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Risk Factors