How to seek help for postpartum depression

Pregnant (MGN)

Having a baby changes your body and your life in ways that are hard to predict. Feeling sad, moody or tired is normal in the first few weeks after childbirth. Postpartum depression (PPD) is different. PPD is the most common medical complication of childbirth and can have devastating consequences, not only for the mother but it can also impact her family and hinder her infant's physical, mental and emotional development. It is estimated that PPD affects more than 400,000 mothers in the U.S. each year, and without proper screening up to half of all cases may go undiagnosed.

Did you know?

  • PPD is the most common medical complication of childbirth.
  • Globally, it is estimated that PPD affects approximately 10% to 20% of women who give birth. In the U.S., estimates of new mothers identified with PPD each year vary by state from 8% to 20% with an overall average of 11.5%.
  • Symptoms of PPD are not the same for every woman and can include sadness, anxiety, irritability, avoiding friends or family, having trouble bonding with her baby and thinking about harming herself or her baby.
  • PPD can cause a mother distress and make it more difficult to bond with her newborn. When a mother's relationship with her baby isn't strong, it can hinder the baby's physical, mental and emotional development.
  • While the exact cause of PPD is unknown, there are likely multiple factors that contribute to the development of PPD. Changes in the perinatal period, including rapid hormonal changes and altered stress responses, may place some women at risk for developing PPD.
  • Medical organizations and government agencies recommend screening for PPD as a normal part of a woman's pre- and post-natal checkups.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month and May 13-19th is National Women's Health Week. For more information about PPD, please visit:

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