In what period after birth is post natal depression most likely to occur?
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Depression that begins after the birth of a child is referred to as postnatal depression. While symptoms can occur at any time during the first year, they mostly present within the first three months after delivery. Postnatal depression is often initially confused with the ‘baby blues’. The baby blues is a brief period of emotional stress occurring in up to 80% of all women who give birth. Symptoms of the baby blues (e.g. tearfulness, irritability, anxiety, feelings of loneliness) generally disappear within a few days. Women suffering from postnatal depression, however, will experience symptoms consistently for a period of two weeks or more. Their symptoms will also be more disabling, affecting everyday functioning such as eating, sleeping and thinking.
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