Postpartum Depression resources for pregnant and birthing families

Information about postpartum depression for mothers, partners, and families

Table of Contents

What is postpartum depression?

Postpartum depression (PPD) is an illness that describes a wide range of physical and emotional changes that many new parents experience during pregnancy or postpartum.

Research shows that in addition to depression, there are many other mental health conditions that can occur during pregnancy and the postpartum period including anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). New parents, including mothers, fathers, and parents of diverse gender identities, can experience postpartum depression.

If you feel sad, more tired than usual, or very nervous after having a baby, and these feelings aren’t going away or getting worse, talk to your health care provider. Postpartum depression can be treated.

Do I have baby blues or postpartum depression?

Many new mothers and birthing people may have the baby blues after childbirth, which is a fairly normal experience and usually lasts less than two weeks. Forty to 80% of all new mothers may experience the baby blues within the first 10 days after giving birth.

While a new baby can bring immense joy, parents with the baby blues may also feel stressed, fatigued, and overwhelmed from adjusting to a new routine and responsibilities. Other symptoms of the baby blues include mood swings, crying spells, sadness, anxiety, and reduced concentration.

Having the baby blues usually doesn’t get in the way of taking care of the baby or doing daily tasks, and they come and go alongside feelings of happiness. These feelings don’t last long and usually fade on their own within the first few weeks after childbirth. However, if feelings of sadness, anxiety, and worry don’t go away within a few weeks, a parent might be experiencing postpartum depression or another mood disorder related to pregnancy and childbirth that may need treatment.

Can fathers and second parents experience postpartum depression?

Paternal postpartum depression can affect about 1 in 10 fathers worldwide. Fathers or partners with postpartum depression can experience a range of physical, emotional, and behavioral changes including sadness, anxiety, and exhaustion that can interfere with day-to-day life and routines. New parents often get little sleep and face new, growing responsibilities that may cause stress and anxiety, all of which can lead to depression. If you are experiencing any signs and symptoms of postpartum depression, seek help by contacting your healthcare provider. You can also visit Postpartum Health Alliance for Dads to learn more about paternal postpartum depression.

What are my options for support and treatment?

Counseling and Therapy

Both counseling and therapy can be effective ways to help parents address their feelings, thoughts, and actions. Parents struggling with postpartum depression can benefit from therapy by learning new ways to cope with stress and manage their feelings. Including significant others such as spouses and other family members in treatment can also help improve communication and gain their support during difficult times. Counseling can be tailored to meet individual needs, either through one-on-one sessions or a formal group therapy program, depending on what works best for the individual. Find options for counseling and therapy.


Antidepressants may be effective in treating postpartum depression. It’s important for new parents to contact their health care provider to discuss any medications and treatments for postpartum depression.

Support groups & additional strategies

Support groups can be helpful in a variety of ways, including:

  • Helping parents make connections with other parents struggling with postpartum depression
  • Learning helpful and practical coping skills from other parents
  • Reduces a sense of isolation

In addition to therapy and medication, many parents benefit from supplemental support such as yoga, exercise, or meditation. It is always important to mention all treatments, whether prescribed or not, with your healthcare providers. Find support for postpartum depression including resources for mental health and parenthood.

Resources for mothers, partners, and families

Postpartum Depression Information

Mental Health Support


Breastfeeding Support

Additional resources

Contact   for Postpartum Depression resources for pregnant and birthing families


Massachusetts PSI Warm Line

Emergency Services Program/Mobile Crisis Intervention

Servicios de Emergencia Programa/Móvil de Intervención de Crisis - Emergency Services is available in 105 languages

Help Us Improve  with your feedback

Please do not include personal or contact information.