Left untreated, postpartum depression can interfere with mother-child bonding and cause family problems. Children of mothers who have untreated postpartum depression are more likely to have behavioral problems, such as sleeping and eating difficulties, temper tantrums, and hyperactivity. Delays in language development are more common as well.
Untreated postpartum depression can last for months or longer, sometimes becoming a chronic depressive disorder. Even when treated, postpartum depression increases a woman's risk of future episodes of major depression.
Sept. 11, 2012
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- Gabbe SG, et al. Obstetrics: Normal and Problem Pregnancies. 6th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2012. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/208746819-4/0/1528/0.html. Accessed Aug. 6, 2012.
- Depression. National Institutes of Mental Health. http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/depression/complete-index.shtml. Accessed Aug. 6, 2012.
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- Harms RW (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Aug. 22, 2012.
- Hall-Flavin DK (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Aug. 27, 2012.
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