Encyclopedia of Behavioral Medicine

2013 Edition
| Editors: Marc D. Gellman, J. Rick Turner

Postpartum Depression

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-1005-9_826



Postpartum depression is moderate to severe depression in a woman after she has given birth. It may occur soon after delivery or up to a year later. Most of the time, it occurs within the first 3 months after delivery.


Major depressive disorder with a postpartum onset (PPD) is a prevalent and serious disorder. Postpartum major depression (PPMD) is moderate to severe depression in a woman after she has given birth, clinically resembling major depression as described in DSM-IV. Feelings of anxiety, irritation, tearfulness, and restlessness are common in the week or two after pregnancy. These feelings are often called the postpartum blues or “baby blues.” These symptoms almost remit without the need for treatment. Postpartum depression may occur when the baby blues do not fade away or when signs of depression start 1 or more months after childbirth. Up to 20% of women will have an initial major depressive...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Sleep Medicine Institute and Department of PsychiatrySchool of Medicine, University of PittsburghPittsburghUSA