Left untreated, postpartum depression can interfere with mother-child bonding and cause family problems.

  • For mothers. 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.
  • For fathers. Postpartum depression can have a ripple effect, causing emotional strain for everyone close to a new baby. When a new mother is depressed, the risk of depression in the baby's father may also increase. And new dads are already at increased risk of depression, whether or not their partner is affected.
  • For children. Children of mothers who have untreated postpartum depression are more likely to have emotional and behavioral problems, such as sleeping and eating difficulties, excessive crying, and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Delays in language development are more common as well.
Aug. 11, 2015