Ethical aspects in the management of postpartum depression

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Abstract

Postpartum depression is a relatively frequent psychiatric pathology that involves some challenges in the management and treatment of the case due to the increased risk of suicide and infanticide. Having a relatively early postpartum onset within 4-12 weeks, this pathology may have psychological, social and family repercussions in the long term, both on mother and father, but especially on the child. Postpartum depression is a relatively frequent psychiatric pathology involving some challenges in managing and treating the case due to the increased risk of suicide and infanticide. Having a relatively early postpartum onset within 4-12 weeks, this pathology may have psychological, social and family repercussions in the long term, both on the mother and father, but especially on the child.

Postpartum depression manifests with symptoms typical of all depressive episodes, such as depressed mood, irritability, low tolerance to frustration, anxiety, hypersomnia, but also more specific symptoms such as feelings and guilty thoughts about correct child development, lack of empathy, lack of maternal behavior. Emotional, socio-cultural and physiological factors play an important role in the onset of this symptomatology.

Postpartum depression raises ethical concerns about the proper conduct of the doctor. In this article we will address both deontological aspects such as doctor-patient confidentiality, suicide and infanticide, as well as the legal aspects that may occur in such situations. Thus, postpartum depression is a therapeutic challenge because of the multiple social, family and legal interferences it presents.

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