Postpartum Depression

Childbirth is one of the most profound biological and social transformations in women's lives. For most mothers, joy and excitement accompany the arrival of their baby. Of course, the physical and emotional demands of first-time and repeat motherhood are often intense and unrelenting, and as mothers adjust to living with and caring for a newborn, mild to moderate negative emotions are typically normal, expected, and short lived.

For a percentage of new mothers, however, intense negative emotions persisting beyond the newborn phase may be indicative of a psychiatric disorder commonly referred to as postpartum depression (PPD). In screening studies designed to identify women who would likely be assigned a psychiatric diagnosis upon further evaluation by a trained professional, 10–15 percent of North American women report ...

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