Skip Navigation LinksHome > September 2009 - Volume 52 - Issue 3 > Identification of Postpartum Depression
Clinical Obstetrics & Gynecology:
doi: 10.1097/GRF.0b013e3181b5a57c
Psychiatric Disorders in Pregnancy

Identification of Postpartum Depression

SIT, DOROTHY K. Y. MD; WISNER, KATHERINE L. MD, MS

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Abstract

Postpartum depression (PPD) is the most common medical complication of childbearing. Universal screening maximizes the likelihood of prompt identification of PPD. Obstetrician-gynecologists routinely evaluate postpartum women for a general health examination and review of family planning options at approximately 6 weeks after birth; therefore, they are well positioned to identify PPD. In this study, we review the diagnostic criteria for postpartum depressive disorders and clinical risk factors predictive of PPD. We examine depression screening tools, appropriate cut-points associated with positive screens, the optimal timing for screening, and the acceptability of depression screening in obstetrical settings. Finally, we explore how to manage patients who screen positive for depression and treatment options for women with PPD.

© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.

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