What is Postpartum Depression?

Read Transcript

Postpartum depression is a type of major depressive disorder which can affect women anywhere from four weeks to one year after the delivery. And I think what's really important is to distinguish this from postpartum blues which a lot of women experience in the first 2-4 weeks, but most of the time these symptoms resolve by themselves.

We see that there is a big hormonal shift after the delivery and a lot of women may feel more tearful, irritable, may feel like there's a lack of support, may feel inept in their mothering abilities but most of the time this results. And it's very frequent, about 50% of women will experience postpartum blues.

However only 10-15% of women will go on to develop postpartum depression which as I mentioned is similar to major depressive disorders if the person meets all the criteria but the timing is very specific. And you see that women with postpartum depression are often worried about their ability to take care of their child, they may often resent the child especially in a situation where there is, it's may be an unplanned pregnancy or there might be some ambivalence around it, they may have feelings of wanting to harm the baby, but that's very very rare.

Mostly you will find that there's a lot of tearfulness and worry and ruminations and also that there's an inability to sleep when the baby is sleeping. so a lot of times women will be told by their doctors, I know you're waking up every two hours in the middle of the night, you know, you're nursing, but sleep when the baby's sleeping.

And we find that women who have this kind of depression have difficulty resting even when they have opportunities to..