postpartum depressive illness

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Moderately severe depressive illness can occur during the puerperium. The peak incidence appears to be at 3 months but with significant numbers of cases still appearing by 6 months and after.

It occurs after 10-15% of pregnancies.

The usual features are similar to non-psychotic depression appearing in women at any other time of life.

Possible causal factors include:

  • previous psychiatric history
  • poor marital relationship
  • lack of social support
  • stressful life events
  • severe postnatal blues