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Interpersonal Psychotherapy for Postpartum Depression


  • Scott Stuart

    Corresponding author
    1. University of Iowa, Department of Psychiatry, Psychology, Iowa City, Iowa, USA
    2. University of Iowa, IPT Institute, Iowa City, Iowa, USA
    • University of Iowa, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Iowa City, Iowa, USA
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  • This work is supported in part by grants MH072757 and MH074636 from the National Institute of Mental Health (USA).

Scott Stuart, MD, University of Iowa, Departments of Psychiatry, Psychology, and Obstetrics and Gynecology, 1–293 Medical Education Building, Iowa City, IA 52242, USA.



Perinatal depression is prevalent and has a great impact on both mother and infant. There are empirically validated treatments for both postpartum depression and depression during pregnancy. Primary among these is Interpersonal Psychotherapy, which has been shown to be effective for postpartum women across the spectrum from mild to severe depression. At present, Interpersonal Psychotherapy is the best validated treatment for postpartum depression and should be considered first-line treatment, especially for depressed breastfeeding women. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Key Practitioner Message

  • IPT is a first-line evidence-based treatment for postpartum depression.
  • IPT can be easily modified for postpartum depression.
  • Partners can be included in IPT for postpartum depression.
  • Group IPT for postpartum depression is effective for depression.
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