Postpartum depression is the most common complication of childbirth and it is a major public health problem [1]. Up to as many as 50% of all cases of this mood disorder go undetected [2]. One of the major challenges for clinicians in dealing with postpartum depression is early recognition. A striking characteristic of this devastating mood disorder is how covertly it is suffered by mothers. Another obstacle to recognizing postpartum depression is the failure of clinicians to question women about related symptoms after delivery [3]. Postpartum depression has been a term applied to a wide range of postpartum

From: Nutrition and Health: Handbook of Nutrition and Pregnancy Edited by: C.J. Lammi-Keefe, S.C. Couch, E.H. Philipson © Humana Press, Totowa, NJ

emotional disorders. As such, this catchall phrase has resulted in women often being misdiagnosed.

Postpartum depression is a major depressive episode, which has a duration of at least

2 weeks. Women experience either depressed mood or a loss of interest or pleasure in activities. Women must experience at least four other symptoms from the following list: "changes in appetite or weight, sleep and psychomotor activity; decreased energy; feelings of worthlessness or guilt; difficulty thinking, concentrating, or making decisions; or recurrent thoughts of death or suicidal ideation, plans, or attempts" [4]. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edition, Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR) includes a postpartum onset specifier, which states that the onset of this disorder must occur within the first 4 weeks after delivery. Clinicians and researchers both attest to this time criterion as being much too limited. Postpartum depression can occur any time during the first 12 months after the birth of an infant.

Pregnancy And Childbirth

Pregnancy And Childbirth

If Pregnancy Is Something That Frightens You, It's Time To Convert Your Fear Into Joy. Ready To Give Birth To A Child? Is The New Status Hitting Your State Of Mind? Are You Still Scared To Undergo All The Pain That Your Best Friend Underwent Just A Few Days Back? Not Convinced With The Answers Given By The Experts?

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