The symptoms of postpartum depression are the same as the symptoms of depression that occurs at other times in life. Along with a sad or depressed mood, you may have some of the following symptoms:
- Agitation or irritability
- Changes in appetite
- Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
- Feeling withdrawn or unconnected
- Lack of pleasure or interest in most or all activities
- Loss of concentration
- Loss of energy
- Problems doing tasks at home or work
- Negative feelings toward the baby
- Significant anxiety
- Thoughts of death or suicide
- Trouble sleeping
A mother with postpartum depression may also:
- Be unable to care for herself or her baby
- Be afraid to be alone with her baby
- Have negative feelings toward the baby or even think about harming the baby (Although these feelings are scary, they are almost never acted on. Still you should tell your doctor about them right away.)
- Worry intensely about the baby, or have little interest in the baby
- If you feel sad, more tired than you think you should be, or if you feel very nervous or distraught, and if these feelings are not going away or if these feelings are getting worse talk to your health care provider.
Postpartum depression is treatable. Prompt treatment can help you manage your symptoms — and enjoy your baby.
This information is provided by the Division for Perinatal, Early Childhood, and Special Health Needs within the Department of Public Health.