Skip to main content

Postpartum depression is one of the most common medical conditions associated with pregnancy

Postpartum depression (PPD) is different from the “baby blues,” which usually gets better within 2 weeks without treatment. PPD symptoms are more intense, can last longer, and can be serious if not treated.

Only a healthcare professional can tell you if what you are feeling is more than the “baby blues.” That’s why it is important to discuss your symptoms with your doctor right away.

Postpartum depression is more common than you may think

Women go through hormonal, physical, and emotional changes during and after pregnancy. They can start experiencing symptoms of postpartum depression during pregnancy or after having a baby.

About 1 in 8 women

report experiencing symptoms of postpartum depression

Postpartum depression is underdiagnosed and undertreated

even though it is one of the most common medical conditions associated with pregnancy

Postpartum depression can affect any adult woman

regardless of age, ethnicity, marital status, or income

There are factors associated with postpartum depression which may include:

  • Increased stress
  • Family or personal history of depression
  • Hormonal changes due to pregnancy

Signs and symptoms of postpartum depression

Postpartum depression can cause a number of symptoms. Although you may experience different symptoms, some of the more common symptoms include: 

  • Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” mood
  • Irritability
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, hopelessness, or helplessness
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities
  • Trouble bonding or forming an emotional attachment with the new baby
  • Persistent doubts about the ability to care for the new baby
  • Thoughts about death, suicide, or harming oneself or the baby
  • Fatigue or abnormal decrease in energy
  • Feeling restless or having trouble sitting still
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions
  • Difficulty sleeping (even when the baby is sleeping), awakening early in the morning, or oversleeping
  • Abnormal appetite, weight changes, or both
  • Aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems that do not have a clear physical cause or do not ease even with treatment 

If you're thinking about suicide, call the confidential National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 24/7 at 988. If you fear for your safety or the safety of your child, get help immediately.

If you’re having a medical emergency, call 911.

If you are experiencing any of these or other symptoms, talk to your healthcare provider right away.