Patient Resources for

Postpartum Depression (PPD)

Postpartum Depression (PPD) can affect a mother’s ability to care for her child and may negatively affect a child’s cognitive development. PPD is thought to develop from rapid changes in the levels of endogenous neurosteroids during pregnancy.

Plasma levels of allopregnanolone, which is a metabolite of progesterone and GABA modulator, are known to increase throughout pregnancy and then precipitously drop after delivery. It is thought that these rapid hormonal changes are linked to triggering depression in women who are vulnerable to develop this condition.

The most common medications prescribed to women who seek treatment for PPD are SSRI’s and SNRI’s, which have limited evidence of efficacy. There are currently no approved therapies to treat PPD.

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