Depression significantly contributes to the global disease burden. It is important to identify maternal depression in India since death rates due to suicide, a large proportion of which occur in women, are among the highest in the world here. Post partum depression has also been shown to have negative effects on the overall development of the infant. Several studies have been done on the prevalence of and risk factors leading to post partum depression, but there is still scarcity of data in our local context. There is also no standardised objective method, included in our routine post natal checks, to assess depressive symptoms. It is therefore important to study these symptoms in our hospital, it being one of the largest in India. Based on the DSM IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental disorders) criteria, post partum depression falls under the diagnostic criteria for Major Depressive Episode with postpartum onset. It states that symptoms must begin within four weeks of delivery, last a minimum of two weeks and cause clinically significant impairment in daily functioning.
: Arushi Devgan