Peripartum depression and postpartum depression are the two most common medical complications that can occur during the final stages of pregnancy and after childbirth. Peripartum refers to the period shortly before, during and immediately after childbirth. Postpartum refers to the time after childbirth.

For most new moms, it’s normal to feel a little sad, worried and anxious, but these feelings usually fade after a few weeks. However, women with postpartum depression (PPD) are challenged by anxieties that last longer and have greater intensity and distress, sometimes making it difficult for the mother to care for herself and her baby.

Postpartum depression is a serious but treatable medical illness that affects an estimated 1 in 7 women.

Understand the causes

Pregnancy and the period after delivery can be an especially vulnerable time for women: Mothers often experience great biological, emotional, social and even financial changes during this time.