COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) — Here in Columbus, postpartum depression impacts one out of every 10 women after delivery. That’s according to physicians at Piedmont Obstetrics and Gynecology. 

Postpartum depression, otherwise known as PPD, is the onset of mild, moderate, or severe depression that takes place during pregnancy and last from six weeks to three months, with worse cases lasting up to a year.

If left untreated, PPD can cause women to have trouble bonding with the baby. Other women experience symptoms such as anxiety, sleepless nights, excessive crying and fearfulness. 

Dr. Timothy Villegas, a Piedmont Physician, says pre-screening for women who may be at risk is one of the most crucial steps identified for treatment or prevention.

“The first line treatment is considered psychotherapy. So, counseling. There are some women that don’t have the time or the energy or the means to do that. And in some cases, medication is necessary. So, using the first line is something we call serotonin, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or SSRI, which most of us are familiar with, is the common types of antidepressants that are used,” said Dr. Villegas.   

Dr. Villegas says women who have a pre-existing history of depression or anxiety, pre-existing stressors, and women who have a family history of postpartum or mental illness have an increased risk of developing PPD.   

More information about available resources can be found on the website.