It’s common for new mothers to feel upset or anxious after childbirth. Many have feelings of sadness called postpartum blues or "baby blues." When these feelings are more extreme and last longer than a week or two, it may be a sign of a more serious condition known as postpartum depression.
Often, women with postpartum depression aren’t aware they’re depressed. Typically, it’s their partners who first notices the signs and symptoms:
- Look for these signs and symptoms of postpartum depression:
- The baby blues don't start to fade after a week or are getting worse
- The feeling of sadness, doubt, guilt, or helplessness seems to increase each week and get in the way of your normal routine
- The feelings are getting in the way of caring for yourself or your baby
- You’re having trouble doing tasks at home or at your job
- Changes in appetite – increase or decrease
- Things that used to bring pleasure no longer do
- Concern and worry about the baby are too intense, or interest in the baby is lacking
- You feel panicked or anxious, even afraid to be left alone with the baby
- You fear harming the baby; these feeling may lead to guilt, which may make the depression worse
- You have thoughts of self-harm or even suicide
Call your doctor if you have any of these signs. You or your partner can reach your doctor at 713-442-0000 during normal business hours and at 713-442-BABY after hours via the 24/7 OB hotline.