The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) recently conducted a systematic review of studies on the prevalence and incidence of postpartum depression during the first 12 months after delivery [5]. During the postpartum period, the point prevalence of major and minor depressive episodes starts rising and is at its highest in the third month at 12.9%. During the fourth month through the seventh month postpartum, the prevalence decreases slightly to between 9.9 and 10.6%. [5]. When looking at the point prevalence for major depression alone, major depressive episodes peak at 2 months (5.7%) and 6 months (5.6%) after delivery.

Regarding period prevalence, the AHRQ report revealed that after delivery up to 19.2% of mothers have either major or minor depressive episodes during the first 3 months, with 7.1% having a major depressive episode. Incidence of a new episode of major or minor depression during the period of the first 3 months postpartum can be up to 14.5% of mothers, with 6.5% of these women experiencing major depressive episodes.

In a large population based study in Denmark, Munk-Olsen and colleagues [6] investigated first lifetime onset of psychiatric illness in 1,171 mothers over the first 12 months after their baby's birth. Prevalence of severe mental disorders through the first

3 months after delivery was reported to be 1.03 per 1000 births. Primiparous mothers had an elevated risk of hospital admission with any mental disorder through the first 3 months after birth, with the highest risk 10-19 days after delivery.

In Listening to Mothers II, a report of the second National US survey of women's childbearing experiences [7], up to 63% of new mothers reported experiencing some depressive symptomatology on the Postpartum Depression Screening Scale [8].

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