postpartum depression

noun

Definition of postpartum depression

: 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

First Known Use of postpartum depression

1929, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of postpartum depression was in 1929

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Statistics for postpartum depression

Last Updated

18 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Postpartum depression.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/postpartum%20depression. Accessed 20 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for postpartum depression

postpartum depression

noun

English Language Learners Definition of postpartum depression

chiefly US, medical : a feeling of deep sadness, anxiety, etc., that a woman feels after giving birth to a child

postpartum depression

noun

Medical Definition of postpartum depression

: 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

Britannica English: Translation of postpartum depression for Arabic Speakers

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