What is Postpartum Depression?

what is postpartum depression, postnatal depressionA happy time filled with excitement and joy – that’s what most of us envision when someone is having a baby.

For many women, this is not the reality. Nearly 20% – 1 out of every 5 new moms – experience some form of postpartum depression or perinatal mood disorder (PMD). PMD encompasses mood disorders from pregnancy until two years after a baby is born and includes depression, anxiety, psychosis, bipolar disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Alongside women, more than 1 in 10 men experience postpartum depression.

PMD is the most common complication of childbirth. If it goes untreated, there can be serious complications for moms, babies, and families. Consequences include disruption in mother-baby bonding, interruption in the infant’s development, family and relationship conflicts, and in serious cases, can lead to suicide or infanticide.

PMD impacts the lives of women, babies, and their loved ones. It may impact you or someone you love. PMD is the most common complication of childbirth, yet it can go undiagnosed and untreated.  It is imperative that we educate those around us about postpartum depression and perinatal mood disorders while working to reduce the stigma so that women can get early treatment.