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Antepartum and Postpartum Depression

Ten percent of women experience depression during pregnancy and postpartum depression (PPD) affects one in every eight to 10 women within the first year after childbirth, miscarriage or stillbirth.

The exact cause is unknown but contributing factors include: changes in hormone levels; a difficult pregnancy or birth; medical problems (mother or baby); lack of sleep; feeling alone; loss of freedom; sudden changes in routines; personal or family history of depression; prior experience with PPD; and high levels of stress.

Common symptoms are:

  • Trouble sleeping or sleeping too much
  • Changes in appetite
  • Feeling irritable, angry or nervous
  • Feeling exhausted
  • Not enjoying life as much as in the past
  • Lack of interest in the baby
  • Lack of interest in friends and family
  • Lack of interest in sex
  • Feeling guilty or worthless
  • Feeling hopeless
  • Crying uncontrollably
  • Feelings of being a bad mother
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Low energy
  • Thoughts of harming the baby or harming herself

Perinatal depression is treatable. Read more about treatment options.

Perinatal mood disorders are treatable. But first you have to ask for help.

call the helpline 24/7 at


Department of Health

P. O. Box 360, Trenton, NJ 08625-0360
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Last Modified: Thursday, 12-Jul-12 11:44:52