Biological, psychological as well as sociocultural changes occur during the postpartum period and it is a highrisk time for significant psychiatric illness. Postpartum psychiatric disorders had been described for centuries yet these disorders today are still poorly recognized and under-treated. They are currently categorized into postpartum blues, postpartum depression and postpartum psychosis. Panic disorder, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder typify the anxiety disorders of this period. This mini-review describes what is known about postpartum psychiatric disorders in terms of their clinical presentation, etiology and treatment. Lactation issues, the impact on the child, cultural considerations as well as life cycle challenges are also discussed. Significant findings are critically reviewed and potential future research directions that could lead to substantial advancements are identified.
Keywords: Postpartum disorders, mood and anxiety disorders, lactation, child outcome, culture, female lifecycle stage
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