The Morning Blend


Postpartum Depression

Posted at 8:50 AM, May 17, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-18 10:30:45-04

Having a baby changes your body and your life in ways that are hard to predict. Feeling sad, moody or tired is normal in the first few weeks after childbirth. Postpartum depression (PPD) is different. PPD is the most common medical complication of childbirth and can have devastating consequences, not only for the mother but it can also impact her family and hinder her infant’s physical, mental and emotional development. It is estimated that PPD affects more than 400,000 mothers in the U.S. each year, and without proper screening up to half of all cases may go undiagnosed.  


Dr. Samantha Meltzer-Brody, MD, MPH, is the Director of the UNC Perinatal Psychiatry Program of the UNC Center for Women’s Mood Disorders. Her current clinical and research efforts are focused primarily on Perinatal Depression. She is currently funded by multiple NIH grants to investigate epidemiologic, genetic, and other biomarker models of postpartum depression (PPD) in cohort of women recruited during pregnancy and followed longitudinally in the postpartum period. In addition, she is investigating novel treatment options for depression in perinatal women. Dr. Meltzer-Brody is also the founder and lead of the Postpartum Depression Action Towards and Treatment (PACT) Consortium, and co-PI on a widely used smart phone app (PPD ACT) that is large scale international genetic study of PPD (
She has published over 120 manuscripts and book chapters in the field of women’s mental health and was named by The Triangle Medical Journal as one of the “Top 10 Women in Medicine” and is the 2016 recipient of the North Carolina Psychiatric Association Eugene Hargrove Research Award. She currently serves as President of the Marce Society of North America (MONA), an international perinatal depression research society.
Dr. Neill Epperson is Professor of Psychiatry and Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Perelman School of Medicine where she is also the Founder and Director of the Penn Center for Women’s Behavioral Wellness. The Center’s mission is to improve women’s health through greater understanding of the impact of hormones and gender on common medical conditions. Dr. Epperson also directs the cross-university center, Penn PROMOTES Research on Sex and Gender in Health and Penn’s Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women’s Health (BIRCWH) K12 program. Dr. Epperson received her M.D. degree at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and completed her postdoctoral and research training in psychiatry at Yale University School of Medicine where she was Associate Professor of Psychiatry before joining Penn in the fall of 2009.