postpartum depression

noun

: a mood disorder involving intense psychological depression that typically occurs within one month after giving birth, lasts more than two weeks, and is accompanied by other symptoms (such as social withdrawal, difficulty in bonding with the baby, and feelings of worthlessness or guilt)
Strictly defined, postpartum depression is diagnosed by the criteria for major depression—overwhelming feelings of sadness, guilt or worthlessness for at least two weeks—beginning sometime in the month after the baby is born.Jill U. Adams
… 10 to 20 percent of new mothers in the United States feel so depressed within six months of childbirth that they have trouble with normal functioning. This is postpartum depression … and it can occur after the birth of any child.Andrew Weil
… it turns out that men can also have postpartum depression, and its effects can be every bit as disruptive—not just on the father but on mother and child.Richard A. Friedman
abbreviation PPD
compare postpartum blues

Examples of postpartum depression in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Also in the latest study, researchers discovered 13 brain-specific mRNAs in the blood that were found to be associated with postpartum depression. Angela Roberts, Baltimore Sun, 9 Feb. 2024 McCain's eyes were opened to the severity of her state when she was given a postpartum depression questionnaire by her daughter's pediatrician during a checkup. Angela Andaloro, Peoplemag, 25 Jan. 2024 Getty Images Researchers have apparently stumbled on a new prescription for postpartum depression (PPD)—one that’s free, easily accessible, and doesn’t involve pharmaceuticals. Erin Prater, Fortune Well, 29 Nov. 2023 Meanwhile, postpartum depression has serious knock-on effects, impacting relationships, partners (if there is one), and sufferers’ ability to return to work, which is often inextricably linked to their identity and self-esteem. Fiorella Valdesolo, Vogue, 10 Nov. 2023 Study after study has found that home visiting programs increase the chances mothers will successfully breastfeed and be screened for postpartum depression. Jenny Gold, Los Angeles Times, 20 Sep. 2023 Meant to be a self-help book, Payton wants to help her readers step out of their comfort zones and into their power, starting with sharing her own experiences with self-doubt, imposter syndrome, perfectionism, self-doubt, imposter syndrome, infertility, and postpartum depression. Dominique Fluker, Essence, 25 Aug. 2023 According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, in the United States, one in seven women experiences postpartum depression (PPD). Tracy Smith, CBS News, 10 Dec. 2023 Early mental health screenings can detect risks of postpartum depression and anxiety. Andrea Ippolito, Fortune, 30 Aug. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'postpartum depression.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1929, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of postpartum depression was in 1929

Dictionary Entries Near postpartum depression

Cite this Entry

“Postpartum depression.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/postpartum%20depression. Accessed 2 Mar. 2024.

Medical Definition

postpartum depression

noun
: a mood disorder involving intense psychological depression that typically occurs within one month after giving birth, lasts more than two weeks, and is accompanied by other symptoms (such as social withdrawal, difficulty in bonding with the baby, and feelings of worthlessness or guilt)
Strictly defined, postpartum depression is diagnosed by the criteria for major depression—overwhelming feelings of sadness, guilt or worthlessness for at least two weeks—beginning sometime in the month after the baby is born.Jill U. Adams, Los Angeles Times
Most new mothers feel a little down after their baby is born. For one in ten, however, postpartum depression … can last up to a year and even leave a woman unable to care for her infant.Ellen Rapp, Parenting
Doctors typically treat postpartum depression with medication, talk therapy or both.Susan H. Greenberg and Karen Springen, Newsweek

Note: Postpartum depression may initially be misdiagnosed as postpartum blues but the symptoms of postpartum depression are more intense and debilitating and last longer than two weeks. While typically affecting mothers, there is evidence that fathers may also experience postpartum depression.

abbreviation PPD
compare postpartum blues

More from Merriam-Webster on postpartum depression

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