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Is it baby blues or a postpartum mood disorder?

Is it baby blues or a postpartum mood disorder?

No matter how much you’ve looked forward to it, having a baby is stressful. With the lack of sleep, the disruption in your daily routines and discomfort from labor and delivery, it’s no surprise that a lot of postpartum parents feel like they’re on an emotional rollercoaster.  

It’s normal to experience mood swings, feel overwhelmed and cry for no reason during the first 2 to 3 weeks after giving birth. This is called “baby blues.” About 80% of postpartum parents experience baby blues. But some experience feelings of sadness or constant worry that can stick around and can be a sign of a postpartum mood disorder such as postpartum depression or postpartum anxiety disorder.

Help is available for postpartum mood disorders. Talk to your provider.

Your maternity-care provider will be screening for signs and symptoms of postpartum conditions. 

Symptoms of postpartum depression may include:

  • Sadness and crying a lot
  • Lack of interest in your baby or not wanting to bond baby
  • Loss of appetite or eating much more than usual
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in activities you normally enjoy
  • Inability to sleep or sleeping too much
  • Feeling worthless or guilty
  • Difficulty thinking, concentrating or making decisions

Symptoms of postpartum anxiety disorder may include:

  • Constant worry
  • Feeling that something bad is going to happing
  • Racing thoughts
  • Sleep and appetite disturbance
  • Dizziness, hot flashes and nausea

Postpartum mood disorders are not your fault!

It is important to remember that postpartum mood disorders are not your fault and do not reflect your ability to be a good parent. You do not need to suffer or feel alone.

Click here for local agencies that can assist you in finding treatment.

To speak with someone today, call the National Maternal Mental Health Hotline at 1-833-TLC-MAMA (1-833-852-6262), a 24/7, free confidential hotline for postpartum parents (available in English and Spanish).

If you are in mental health distress or have a suicidal crisis, call, text, or chat 988 – this three-digit dialing code routes you to the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline.