Introduction

Depression occuring after childbirth is referred to as postpartum or postnatal depression (PPD). It is a serious mental illness that not only affects the mother but also her newborn child, having long lasting adverse effects on its emotional and cognitive development.

Mind you, this isn’t to be confused with the “baby blues”, which is another form of depression in new mums. However, the baby blues typically disappears after two weeks. Postnatal depression can present itself within the first year of giving birth.

Prevalence of postnatal depression is around 10-15% of the population, but it is believed that about 50% of cases go undiagnosed and untreated. This makes it the second most common complication following childbirth (the first being caesarean delivery). If postnatal depression in women goes untreated, there is the added risk that depression will extend beyond the postpartum period.

Updated 28th July 2017