Postpartum Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: A Review



Postpartum posttraumatic stress disorder (PP-PTSD) is quite common, with long-term adverse impact on mothers and their children. According to various studies, 3% to 45.5% of women perceive their childbirth experience as traumatic, and 3.1% to 43% further develop postpartum posttraumatic stress disorder. PP-PTSD is a relatively new field of study, therefore, there is a need in systematization of the data published on this topic so far. This is a review of studies on risk factors for PP-PTSD, including past traumatic experience, and its negative impact on mother’s mental health and child’s development. Since the society and specialists aim to reduce the prevalence of the disorder, our article also summarizes data on protective factors for PP-PTSD. For example, adequate interaction between laboring women and medical personnel, non-medical labour support, and psychological counseling after traumatic childbirth can significantly reduce the risk for developing PP-PTSD.

General Information

Keywords: postpartum period, posttraumatic stress disorder, perinatal psychology, posttraumatic stress, birth experience, obstetric violence, non-medical labour support, psychological trauma

Journal rubric: Anxiety and Depression: Symptoms, Predictors, and Consequences

Article type: scientific article


Funding. The study was funded by Russian Science Foundation (RSF), project No. 22-18-00356 (“Maternal PTSD and Postpartum Depression as a Risk Factor for Child Emotional and Cognitive Development”).

Received: 29.03.2023


For citation: Yakupova V.A., Anikeeva M.A., Suarez A.D. Postpartum Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: A Review [Elektronnyi resurs]. Klinicheskaia i spetsial'naia psikhologiia = Clinical Psychology and Special Education, 2023. Vol. 12, no. 2, pp. 70–93. DOI: 10.17759/cpse.2023120204. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Vera A. Yakupova, PhD in Psychology, Researcher, Faculty of Psychology, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Maria A. Anikeeva, Clinical and Perinatal Psychologist, Professional Doulas Association (Interregional Non-Profit Organization for Advocating for Practical, Informational, and Psychological Support of Families During Pregnancy, Labor, Birth, and Postpartum Period) , Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Anna D. Suarez, PhD in Psychology, Research Fellow, Faculty of Psychology, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:



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