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

Adele Viguera, MD
Section Editors
Peter P Roy-Byrne, MD
Charles J Lockwood, MD, MHCM
Deputy Editor
David Solomon, MD


Although delivering a baby is typically a happy event, many postpartum women develop depressive symptoms and disorders [1]. Patients may manifest postpartum blues consisting of mild depressive symptoms that are generally self-limited, or more severe syndromes of minor or major depression. Untreated postpartum depression can result in adverse consequences for the mother and infant [1-4].

This topic reviews the epidemiology, pathogenesis, clinical features, assessment, and diagnosis of postpartum unipolar major depression. Treatment of postpartum unipolar major depression is discussed separately, as is the safety of infant exposure to psychotropic drugs through breastfeeding and the diagnosis and treatment of antepartum unipolar major depression.

(See "Mild to moderate postpartum unipolar major depression: Treatment".)

(See "Severe postpartum unipolar major depression: Treatment".)

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

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Literature review current through: Nov 2017. | This topic last updated: Nov 09, 2016.
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