Updated 28 September 2015

What causes PND?

There is no single cause of Post Natal Depression.

There is no single cause of Post Natal Depression. Contrary to what many people believe, PND is not "just hormonal", because fathers and adoptive mothers can suffer from it too. A combination of factors can contribute to the condition, such as:

  • being a perfectionist
  • lack of support
  • a traumatic birth
  • financial and other stress
  • loneliness
  • an unsatisfactory relationship with the baby's father
  • a previous history of depression.

A woman is vulnerable when she has recently given birth and the combination of too many stress factors at this time causes some women to develop PND.


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Michael Simpson has been a senior psychiatric academic, researcher, and Professor in several countries, having worked at London University in the UK; McMaster University in Canada; Temple University in Philadelphia, USA.; and the University of Natal in South Africa.

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