My Medical Learning Center


Symptoms of Postpartum Depression

You’ve just given birth to a beautiful baby and it seems that your family, friends, everyone is overjoyed - except you.

According the National Institute of Health, 50-80% of women experience what is called "baby blues" for 7-10 days after giving birth.  "Baby blues" are considered to be normal and assumed to be associated with hormonal levels.  Irritability, insomnia, anxiety, weepiness and moodiness come with "baby blues."

If the blues do not lift after two weeks, it is possible that you have postpartum depression.   Postpartum depression affects 10-15% of women any time from a month to a year after childbirth.  Researchers are not certain what causes this, but believe that postpartum depression may be associated with changes in hormonal levels. 

Symptoms of postpartum depression may include:

  • Insomnia - If you're unable to fall asleep or stay asleep, even when the baby is sleeping;
  • Persistent sadness and weepiness that lasts throughout the day;
  • Lethargy and lack of interest in things that you would otherwise enjoy;
  • Difficulty concentrating;
  • Excessive feelings of guilt;
  • Mood swings and irritability;
  • Drastic changes in appetite;
  • Feelings of anxiety or even panic attacks;
  • Excessive worry about hurting or harming the baby; and/or
  • Suicidal thoughts.

Fortunately, postpartum depression can be treated.  If you or your partner suspect that you're suffering from postpartum depression, be sure to consult with your medical doctor.