Send to

Choose Destination
Trends Neurosci. 2017 Feb;40(2):106-120. doi: 10.1016/j.tins.2016.11.009. Epub 2017 Jan 24.

The Neurobiology of Postpartum Anxiety and Depression.

Author information

Inserm U1085-IRSET, Université de Rennes 1, Campus Villejean, 35000 Rennes, France. Electronic address:
Neuroscience Program & Department of Psychology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA. Electronic address:
Psychology and Fraser Mustard Institute for Human Development, University of Toronto at Mississauga (UTM), Mississauga, ONT L5L1C6, Canada.


Ten to twenty percent of postpartum women experience anxiety or depressive disorders, which can have detrimental effects on the mother, child, and family. Little is known about the neural correlates of these affective disorders when they occur in mothers, but they do have unique neural profiles during the postpartum period compared with when they occur at other times in a woman's life. Given that the neural systems affected by postpartum anxiety and depression overlap and interact with the systems involved in maternal caregiving behaviors, mother-infant interactions are highly susceptible to disruption. Thus, there is an intricate interplay among maternal mental health, the mother-infant relationship, and the neurobiological mechanisms mediating them that needs to be the focus of future study.


anxiety; maternal behavior; maternal brain; mothering; perinatal depression; postpartum depression

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for HAL archives ouvertes
Loading ...
Support Center