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Postpartum blues and unipolar depression: Epidemiology, clinical features, assessment, and diagnosis

Peter P Roy-Byrne, MD
Section Editors
Murray B Stein, MD, MPH
Charles J Lockwood, MD, MHCM
Deputy Editor
David Solomon, MD


Although postpartum women are expected to be happy, they are often are depressed [1-3]. Patients may manifest postpartum blues consisting of mild depressive symptoms that are generally self-limited, or more severe syndromes of minor or major depression.

This topic reviews the epidemiology, pathogenesis, clinical features, assessment, and diagnosis of postpartum blues and postpartum unipolar depression. The prevention and treatment of postpartum blues and postpartum unipolar depression are discussed separately, as are the safety of infant exposure to psychotropic drugs through lactation and the diagnosis and treatment of antepartum unipolar depression, postpartum bipolar mood episodes, postpartum psychosis, and postpartum obsessive compulsive disorder.

(See "Postpartum blues and unipolar depression: Prevention and treatment".)

(See "Safety of infant exposure to antidepressants and benzodiazepines through breastfeeding".)

(See "Breastfeeding infants: Safety of exposure to antipsychotics, lithium, stimulants, and medications for substance use disorders".)


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Literature review current through: Sep 2016. | This topic last updated: Feb 4, 2016.
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