Postpartum neurotic depression
Maternal post-natal trauma
Hippocrates, the ancient Greek father of medicine and one of the first physicians to study depression in new mothers, attributed this misery to suppressed uterine discharge. A majority of physicians trained between 1950 and 1990 were taught the notion of postpartum depression is archaic as applied to mental illness. Over the last 20 years, however, more doctors have been giving this phenomenon new attention.
According to a 1992 British study, the maternal blues affect an estimated 50 to 80% of women. Postnatal depression affects an estimated 10% of women. In a study of 54,000 new mothers, 120 were admitted to psychiatric clinics. Postpartum psychosis affects an estimated 1 mother in 1,000. Although treatment for postpartum psychosis is effective, there is a 20 to 30% chance the psychosis will return with the next birth.
The best improvement in treatment for post-natal depression would be wider acceptance of it by the public.