What is postpartum depression? | Live Science

Postpartum depression affects about 14% of mothers. Here’s what you should know about this common mental health condition.  (Image credit: Getty Images)

Postpartum depression is clinically defined as depression following the birth of a child that lasts at least two weeks and interferes with a parent’s ability to go about their daily tasks. About 14% of mothers and 4% of fathers experience postpartum depression, according to a 2010 study published in the journal Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine

Having a baby is physically grueling and can also be emotionally difficult. It’s not uncommon for parents to feel anxious, depressed and upset soon after giving birth. This is often called the “baby blues.” Symptoms may include crying for no obvious reason, having trouble eating and sleeping, and questioning their parenting ability. The baby blues usually disappear on their own within two weeks following the birth of a child even without treatment, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG).