Postpartum depression disorder (also known as postnatal depression) is severe depression that occurs in women after they give child birth. There've been numerous studies on the subject, and the postpartum depression statistics tell us that it occurs in 5-25% of women (although most studies are much more likely to result in the 10-15% figure). This disease can also affect the father. It usually affects men if they just can't afford to support the child...or in a few rare circumstances, when they find out that the child is not theirs. However women are the most at risk, and almost all postpartum depression books and postpartum depression articles focus on the mother.
It is important to note that this disease does not have to occur right after childbirth. Delayed postpartum depression, can occur even a year after birth after the full effects of child birth impact the mother. The most telling postpartum depression symptom usually involves crying(especially if its for no apparent reason). So if you notice that, you need to be aware that the person may very well commit suicide/infanticide in the near future.
Postnatal depression can lead to suicide because the woman suffers from hopelessness and depression. This is especially prevalent if the family has a low income level. If you know someone who you suspect has postpartum depression(fathers too), it's important to learn suicide warning signs, so that you can prevent a suicide attempt by someone you love.
A small portion of those with postpartum depression(men too) will also develop postpartum psychosis. This is the more severe form of the disease. This group is a much higher risk. 5% of all patients with postpartum psychosis commit suicide and 4% will end up killing their infants. Postpartum psychosis can even develop into a full blown bipolar disorder, which will place the patient at high risk of suicide for the rest of their life.
If you know someone who just gave birth, it's important to brush up on suicide warning signs, so that you'll know when the person is at risk for suicide/killing the infant, so you can help save their life. If you yourself just gave birth...make sure to give a suicide warning signs guide to someone who you see daily, so that they can interfere and stop you from killing yourself or your infant.