Daily Bolus of LR: Post Partum depression

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April 28, 2011 by dailybolusoflr

Post-Partum Depression


·         This is a major depressive episode that occurs typically within 4 weeks of delivery, but often does not present until 3-6 months after delivery.

·         It is found in up to 15% of patients, but with higher numbers in adolescents and in women with a history of depression (which is the strongest predictor of postpartum depression)

·         Risk factors for postpartum depression:

o   Adolescents

o   h/o depression

o   Recent life stress *(hello. .just had a baby!)

o   Low socioeconomic status

·         Risk factors for postpartum pyschosis:

o   h/o depression

o   h/o Bipolar disorder

o   Younger age

o   First baby


·         The symptoms can range from sadness, anxiety, despair to frank psychosis (very small numbers)

·         Symptoms need to be present daily for at least two weeks and affect the patient’s ability to function in normal daily activities.

·         This should not be confused with “baby blues” which is very common and affects up to 50% of post partum women.  This typically begins within the first week and is self-limited to about two weeks.

·         The most important issues to consider are the safety of the patient as well as the safety of the infant while in the care of the mother. 



Gala/Diallo. Patient Encounters: The obstetrics and gynecology work up.



Linda Regan, MD FACEP

Program Director, Emergency Medicine Residency

Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions


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