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

Synonyms

Definition

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.

Description

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...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access

References and Readings

  1. Abou-Saleh, M. T., Ghubash, R., Karim, L., Krymski, M., & Bhai, I. (1998). Hormonal aspects of postpartum depression. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 23, 465–475.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Beck, C. T. (2001). Predictors of postpartum depression: An update. Nursing Research, 50, 275–285.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bloch, M., Daly, R. C., & Rubinow, D. R. (2003). Endocrine factors in the etiology of postpartum depression. Comprehensive Psychiatry, 44, 234–246.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Burt, V. K., & Stein, K. (2002). Epidemiology of depression throughout the female life cycle. The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 63(Suppl 7), 9–15.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Coble, P. A., Reynolds, C. F., Kupfer, D. J., Houck, P. R., Day, N. L., & Giles, D. E. (1994). Childbearing in women with and without a history of affective disorder. II. Electroencephalographic sleep. Comprehensive Psychiatry, 35, 215–224.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Dennis, C. L. (2004). Preventing postpartum depression part I: a review of biological interventions. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 49(7), 467–475.Google Scholar
  7. Ford, D. E., & Kamerow, D. B. (1989). Epidemiologic study of sleep disturbances and psychiatric disorders. An opportunity for prevention? Journal of the American Medical Association, 262, 1479–1484.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Gavin, N. I., Gaynes, B. N., Lohr, K. N., Meltzer-Brody, S., Gartehner, G., & Swinson, T. (2005). Perinatal depression: a systematic review of prevalence and incidence. Obstetrics and Gynecology, 106(5 pt1), 1071–1083.Google Scholar
  9. Gaynes, B. N., Gavin, N., Meltzer-Brody, S., et al. (2005). Perinatal depression: Prevalence, screening accuracy, and screening outcomes. Evidence Report/Technology Assessment, Summ, 1–8.Google Scholar
  10. Logsdon, M. C., Wisner, K. L., & Pinto-Foltz, M. D. (2006). The impact of postpartum depression on mothering. Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, and Neonatal Nursing, 35, 652–658.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Maes, M. (1994). Cytokines in major depression. Biological Psychiatry, 36(7), 498–499.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Maes, M., Lin, A. H., Ombelet, W., et al. (2000). Immune activation in the early puerperium is related to postpartum anxiety and depressive symptoms. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 25, 121–137.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Marcus, S. M., & Heringhausen, J. E. (2009). Depression in childbearing women: When depression complicates pregnancy. Primary Care, 36, 151–165.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. McCarter-Spaulding, D., & Horowitz, J. A. (2007). How does postpartum depression affect breastfeeding? The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing, 32, 10–17.Google Scholar
  15. Moehler, E., Brunner, R., Wiebel, A., Reck, C., & Resch, F. (2006). Maternal depressive symptoms in the postnatal period are associated with long-term impairment of mother-child bonding. Archives of women’s Mental Health, 9(5), 273–278.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. O’Hara, M. W., Schlechte, J. A., Lewis, D. A., & Varner, M. W. (1991). Controlled prospective study of postpartum mood disorders: Psychological, environmental, and hormonal variables. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 100, 63–73.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. O’Hara, M. W., Schlechte, J. A., Lewis, D. A., & Wright, E. J. (1991). Prospective study of postpartum blues: Biologic and psychosocial factors. Archives of General Psychiatry, 48, 801–806.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. O’Hara, M. W., Zekoski, E. M., Philipps, L. H., & Wright, E. J. (1990). Controlled prospective study of postpartum mood disorders: Comparison of childbearing and nonchildbearing women. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 99, 3–15.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Okun, M. L., Hanusa, B. H., Hall, M., & Wisner, K. L. (2009). Sleep complaints in late pregnancy and the recurrence of postpartum depression. Behavioral Sleep Medicine, 7, 106–117.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Okun, M. L., Luther, J., Prather, A. A., Perel, J. M., Wisniewski, S., & Wisner, K. L. (2011). Changes in sleep quality, but not hormones predict time to postpartum depression recurrence. Journal of Affective Disorders, 130, 378–384.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Romero, R., Espinoza, J., Goncalves, L. F., Kusanovic, J. P., Friel, L. A., & Nien, J. K. (2006). Inflammation in preterm and term labour and delivery. Seminars in Fetal and Neonatal Medicine, 11(5), 317–326.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Ross, L. E., Campbell, V. L., Dennis, C. L., & Blackmore, E. R. (2006). Demographic characteristics of participants in studies of risk factors, prevention, and treatment of postpartum depression. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 51, 704–710.Google Scholar
  23. Wisner, K. L., Perel, J. M., Peindl, K. S., & Hanusa, B. H. (2004). Timing of depression recurrence in the first year after birth. Journal of Affective Disorders, 78(3), 249–252.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Wisner, K. L., Chambers, C., & Sit, D. K. (2006). Postpartum depression: A major public health problem. Journal of the American Medical Association, 296, 2616–2618.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Wisner, K. L., Parry, B. L., & Piontek, C. M. (2002). Clinical practice. Postpartum depression. The New England Journal of Medicine, 347, 194–199.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Wolfson, A. R., Crowley, S. J., Anwer, U., & Bassett, J. L. (2003). Changes in sleep patterns and depressive symptoms in first-time mothers: Last trimester to 1-year postpartum. Behavioral Sleep Medicine, 1, 54–67.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

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