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Postpartum Depression

  • By: Lisa S. Segre
  • In: Encyclopedia of Family Health
  • Edited by: Martha Craft-Rosenberg & Shelley-Rae Pehler
  • Subject:Family Health, Family Policy, Family Law

Postpartum depression (PPD) is clinical depression experienced by a woman who has recently given birth. It robs parents of precious experiences with their newborns, compromises the mood of the new mother, places partners at risk for depression, and has significant negative effects on children's emotional and cognitive development. PPD thus negatively affects the nuclear family unit. Screening increases detection, and effective treatments are available.

After a brief history of PPD, this entry discusses the diagnosis, epidemiology, and negative effects of PPD. Then, this entry describes the various ways PPD is managed. Lastly, this entry examines PPD's relevance to family health.

History

In 1968, Brice Pitt conducted the first large-scale longitudinal study assessing the mental health of 305 women during pregnancy and the postpartum period. His early prevalence estimate ...

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