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Help With Postpartum Depression

Curated and updated for the community by APA

Depression During Pregnancy and after Childbirth

For most women, having a baby is a very exciting, joyous, and often anxious time. But for women with postpartum, or peripartum, depression it can become very distressing and difficult. Postpartum depression is a serious, but treatable medical illness involving feelings of extreme sadness, indifference and/or anxiety, as well as changes in energy, sleep, and appetite. It carries risks for the mother and child.

Women can also experience depression during pregnancy. Peripartum depression refers to depression occurring during pregnancy or after childbirth. The use of the term peripartum recognizes that depression associated with having a baby often begins during pregnancy. An estimated one in seven women experiences peripartum depression.1

Pregnancy and the period after delivery can be a particularly vulnerable time for women. Mothers often experience immense biological, emotional, financial, and social changes during this time. Some women can be at an increased risk for developing mental health problems, particularly depression and anxiety.

Read more on symptoms & treatment

  • Mar 04, 2019
New Recommendations May Help Prevent Depression in New Mothers

Perinatal depression refers to depression that occurs during pregnancy or following childbirth. It affects more than one in nine new mothers and can be harmful not only for the mother, but also for the infant. Despite media attention and celebrities sharing about their experiences with peripartum depression, it very often goes unrecognized and untreated.

  • Feb 06, 2018
Social Interventions for Depression

Depression is one of the most common mental health conditions and is the leading cause of disease burden worldwide. Older, isolated adults who have little regular social interaction may be particularly at risk. Researchers in Canada wanted to look at whether interventions that aim to facilitate interaction and connection among individuals could reduce depression.

  • Dec 12, 2017
Online Mental Health Screenings: A Potential First Step

Several organizations provide brief online screenings for depression, anxiety, PTSD and other mental health conditions. More than one million people took screenings through the Mental Health America site alone in 2016.

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Patient Stories

Maya is a 32-year-old fit, vibrant lawyer. She had been married for more than two years and was expecting her first child, a baby boy. She had a history of depression and generalized anxiety disorder.

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Editor's Choice

APR 2, 2020

Managing postpartum depression: New moms isolated by coronavirus pandemic

The Conversation

Up to one in five women will develop postpartum depression, a condition that can adversely affect the thoughts, emotions and functioning of mothers, as well as the mental health of their partners and children. Adjusting to parenthood after delivery is challenging under normal circumstances, let alone in the midst of a global pandemic. Concerns about exposure to COVID-19, combined with physical distancing recommendations, can worsen depression and decrease access to the resources, such as health care and social supports, that women typically use to build resilience and promote recovery.

MAR 19, 2020

Postpartum Anxiety Is an Epidemic Among American Mothers. Why Does It So Often Go Undiagnosed?


Our notion of mental illness in the postpartum period is limited to the image of the depressed woman, crying, unable to get out of bed, uninterested in her baby. But, like me, many women who struggle with mental health in the perinatal period -experience anxiety and intrusive thoughts as their most intense symptoms. Only when I began to talk openly with other women about what I had gone through did I finally recognize my anxiety as an illness, and not simply good mothering.

MAR 5, 2020

Chrissy Teigen says postpartum depression was 'sad existence

NBC News

"There were no highs," Teigen said. "It was a flatline of life for a few months." Chrissy Teigen opened up about struggling with her mental health, including experiencing anxiety and postpartum depression after having her first child, in a recent interview. The model and television personality told Glamour in an interview published Thursday that she had been experiencing anxiety since she was a teenager, but had originally chalked it up to "normal twenty-something anxiety." It wasn't until approximately three months after she gave birth to her daughter, Luna, in 2016 that "something was going on.".