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Post-Natal or Postpartum Depression (PPD)

Abstract: 10-20% of all women are depressed after childbirth.

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Post-Natal or Postpartum Depression (PPD)

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Question(s): 
Written by: , lecturer of Psychiatry in the University of Ioannina Medical School, Greece. Eva Gerasi, postgraduate student in the Department of Psychiatry, University Hospital of Ioannina, Greece.
First version: 22 Jul 2008.
Latest revision: 30 Jul 2008.

What is known about post-natal depression? What are its causes?

Answer:

Post-natal or postpartum depression occurs in 10-20 % of women after delivery. The rise in incidence of depression is often within 30 days postpartum and in severe cases may persist for up to 2 years. However, most episodes resolve spontaneously within 3-6 months after delivery. The symptom profile of a post-natal depression resembles that of a major depressive episode experienced at other times in life, but it is unique in its timing and in that it always involves at least the mother-baby dyad and usually an entire family unit.

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