Postpartum depression is not a mood women can just snap out of. Within the first 24 hours postpartum, a woman’s level of estrogen, which is important for mood regulation, drops 90 percent. Since the brain contains many estrogen receptors, that drop can impair mood regulation.
Those at highest risk for postpartum depression are women who:
• had stressful pregnancies, such as those who have been ordered on bed rest;
• have a family history of mental illness, especially a mother who has had postpartum depression
• have a history of depression.