Postpartum Depression
Signs and Symptoms

+ Postpartum baby blues symptoms
Signs and symptoms of baby blues — which last only a few days to a week or two after your baby is born — may include:

• Mood swings
• Anxiety
• Sadness
• Irritability
• Feeling overwhelmed
• Crying
• Reduced concentration
• Appetite problems
• Trouble sleeping
+ Postpartum depression symptoms
Postpartum depression may be mistaken for baby blues at first — but the signs and symptoms are more intense and last longer, eventually interfering with your ability to care for your baby and handle other daily tasks. Symptoms usually develop within the first few weeks after giving birth, but may begin later — up to six months after birth.

Postpartum depression symptoms may include:

• Depressed mood or severe mood swings
• Excessive crying
• Difficulty bonding with your baby
• Withdrawing from family and friends
• Loss of appetite or eating much more than usual
• Inability to sleep (insomnia) or sleeping too much
• Overwhelming fatigue or loss of energy
• Reduced interest and pleasure in activities you used to enjoy
• Intense irritability and anger
• Fear that you're not a good mother
• Feelings of worthlessness, shame, guilt or inadequacy
• Diminished ability to think clearly, concentrate or make decisions
• Severe anxiety and panic attacks
• Thoughts of harming yourself or your baby
• Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide

Untreated, postpartum depression may last for many months or longer.
+ Postpartum psychosis
With postpartum psychosis — a rare condition that typically develops within the first week after delivery — the signs and symptoms are even more severe. Signs and symptoms may include:

• Confusion and disorientation
• Obsessive thoughts about your baby
• Hallucinations and delusions
• Sleep disturbances
• Paranoia
• Attempts to harm yourself or your baby

Postpartum psychosis may lead to life-threatening thoughts or behaviors and requires immediate treatment.
+ When to see a doctor
If you're feeling depressed after your baby's birth, you may be reluctant or embarrassed to admit it. But if you experience any symptoms of postpartum baby blues or postpartum depression, call your doctor and schedule an appointment. If you have symptoms that suggest you may have postpartum psychosis, get help immediately.

It's important to call your doctor as soon as possible if the signs and symptoms of depression have any of these features:

• Don't fade after two weeks
• Are getting worse
• Make it hard for you to care for your baby
• Make it hard to complete everyday tasks
• Include thoughts of harming yourself or your baby
+ If you have suicidal thoughts
If at any point you have thoughts of harming yourself or your baby, immediately seek help from your partner or loved ones in taking care of your baby and call your local emergency assistance number to get help.

Also consider these options if you're having suicidal thoughts:

• Call your mental health specialist.
• Seek help from your primary doctor or other health care provider.
• Reach out to a close friend or loved one.
+ Helping a friend or loved one
People with depression may not recognize or acknowledge that they're depressed. They may not be aware of signs and symptoms of depression. If you suspect that a friend or loved one has postpartum depression or is developing postpartum psychosis, help them seek medical attention immediately. Don't wait and hope for improvement.

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