Most new mothers – experts estimate about 80% undefined experience mood swings and weepiness during the first 2-3 weeks after giving birth. Sometimes called “the baby blues”, this is a normal adjustment period and resolves without any medical assistance.
More than just the “Baby Blues”
If you are are more than two weeks postpartum, and you are experiencing any of the symptoms below, you may be suffering from a perinatal mood or anxiety disorder. Please speak with your healthcare provider.
Any of these symptoms, and many more, could indicate that you have a form of perinatal mood or anxiety disorder, such as postpartum depression. While many women experience some mild mood changes during or after the birth of a child, 15 to 20% of women experience more significant symptoms of depression or anxiety.
Symptoms left untreated can cause a mother to suffer many months or years after the birth of her child. Because of this fact, it is significant that you seek help. Please know that with informed care you can prevent a worsening of these symptoms and can fully recover. There is no reason to continue to suffer.
Pregnancy (also called antepartum) or Postpartum Depression
A woman with PPD might experience feelings of anger, sadness, irritability, guilt, lack of interest in the baby, changes in eating and sleeping habits, trouble concentrating, thoughts of hopelessness and sometimes even thoughts of harming the baby or herself. Learn more about PPD, including risk factors, symptoms and treatment options.
Pregnancy (also called antepartum) or Postpartum Anxiety
A woman with PPA may experience extreme worries and fears, often over the health and safety of the baby. Some women have panic attacks and might feel shortness of breath, chest pain, dizziness, a feeling of losing control, and numbness and tingling. Learn more about PPA, including risk factors, symptoms and treatment options.
Pregnancy or Postpartum Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
Women with PPOCD can have repetitive, upsetting and unwanted thoughts or mental images (obsessions), and sometimes they need to do certain things over and over (compulsions) to reduce the anxiety caused by those thoughts. These moms find these thoughts very scary and unusual and are very unlikely to ever act on them. Learn more about PPOCD, including risk factors, symptoms and treatment options.
Postpartum Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
PPTSD is often caused by a traumatic or frightening childbirth, and symptoms may include flashbacks of the trauma with feelings of anxiety and the need to avoid things related to that event. Learn more about PPTSD, including risk factors, symptoms and treatment options.
PPP sufferers sometimes see and hear voices or images that others can’t, called hallucinations. They may believe things that aren’t true and distrust those around them. They may also have periods of confusion and memory loss, and seem manic. This severe condition is dangerous so it is important to seek help immediately. Learn more about PPP, including risk factors, symptoms and treatment options.
This page taken from Postpartum Support International (PSI)
Continue below to take a “Self-Test”
Below is a list of symptoms that pertain to perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. If you are struggling, or are experiencing any of the symptoms below, please speak with your healthcare provider.
|Are you feeling sad, depressed, or overwhelmed?|
|Do you feel more irritable or angry with those around you?|
|Are you having difficulty bonding with your baby?|
|Do you feel anxious or panicky?|
|Are you having problems with eating or sleeping?|
|Are you having upsetting thoughts that you can’t get out of your mind?|
|Do you feel as if you are “out of control” or “going crazy”?|
|Do you feel like you never should have become a mother?|
|Do you feel guilty, or think you are a “bad mom”?|
|Are you having thoughts about harming yourself or your baby, or are you worried you might act on those thoughts?|
|You may print this self-test to take to your healthcare provider.|
Risk Factors Checklist for PMADs
Many new moms say, “I wish I had known I was at risk”. Here is a way to be proactive,
and be aware of risks that you need to be aware of, and should discuss with your
❏ History of PMS/PMDD or PMAD; difficulty with taking birth control
❏ Personal or family history of mental health disorders, chemical
dependency or eating disorder.
❏ Social/Environmental stressors- job loss, lack of support, financial
❏ Marital/Relationship stress
❏ Unplanned or complicated pregnancy (hyperemesis, loss, difficult
❏ Teen pregnancy
❏ History of previous trauma(s) (abuse, exposure to violence, pregnancy
loss, veterans, etc.)
❏ “Type A” personality
❏ Chronic health conditions, chronic pain, or change in health due to
pregnancy (pain, injury, etc.)
❏ Traumatic birth/loss
❏ Hormonal shifts – taking birth control, discontinuing breastfeeding
❏ Difficult infant temperament/Baby with health complications
❏ Premature delivery/NICU involvement
❏ Breastfeeding difficulties
❏ Having multiples (twins, triplets or more)
❏ Sleep deprivation
If you checked any boxes, please share this information with your provider(s)!
If you need additional assistance & support, please call/text or email the PPSM HelpLine:
612/787-7776 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Available 24 hours per day * Response within 24 hours (often less)