University of Kentucky College of Agriculture
KY Women's Health Registry

Postpartum Depression

Postpartum depression (PPD) is very different from having the “baby blues.” Baby blues last for a few days or weeks after childbirth and are feelings of sadness, anxiety and irritability that are experienced by up to 80 percent of women. Postpartum depression occurs up to one year after delivery and is likely caused by hormonal shifts, lack of help, anxiety about motherhood and problems during pregnancy or birth. The depressed mood and other symptoms can become chronic and may impair the woman’s ability to take care of everyday responsibilities, including the infant.

Each year, there are about 400,000 women who are affected by postpartum depression. This is more than many other major illnesses, including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Multiple Sclerosis, all of which affect both men and women. Although the number of affected women is high, only about 50 percent of these women seek help because of the stigma associated with PPD, including being a failure as a mother or feeling embarrassed.

Blue to You

Blue to You was developed through the Health Education through Extension Leadership program made possible by Senator Mitch McConnell with funds earmarked for the University of Kentucky, College of Agriculture, Lexington, KY and budgeted through the CSREES/USDA Federal Administration.