Ten signs of postpartum depression

The birth of a baby brings joy and excitement but for some new parents, it can also lead to feelings of  worries and sadness often called the “baby blues.” These feelings happen to mothers after giving birth and are often related to changing hormone levels. While some symptoms like crying and fatigue can be expected just after childbirth, symptoms lasting longer than two weeks may be a sign of a more serious condition called postpartum depression.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, postpartum depression is a severe depressive disorder that affects about 15% of women after giving birth. Mothers may not recognize or speak up about their depression due to worries of being judged. Dealing with postpartum depression can affect the whole family and increases the risk of depression in fathers as well.

It’s important to know about the signs of postpartum depression so we can help family and friends after their new baby is born and encourage them to get help from a healthcare provider.

Here are 10 signs of postpartum depression:

  1. Feeling unconnected or interested in caring for and bonding with the baby.
  2. Excessive crying, mood swings and irritability.
  3. Worries that prevent them from doing daily tasks.
  4. Forgetting things easily and not being able to focus.
  5. Feelings of worthlessness or guilt.
  6. Inability to make decisions.
  7. Withdrawing from family and friends.
  8. Poor eating and sleep habits.
  9. Physical symptoms such as headaches, stomach pains, loss of energy.
  10. Thoughts of self-harm or hurting the baby.

Please reach out to your CPCMG pediatrician for help and resources regarding postpartum depression.

For immediate help, call 9-8-8 to speak to crisis counselors who are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

For more information about postpartum depression, review information from the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Women’s Health.