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Common postpartum depression symptoms

a mother holds her baby while looking sad and depressed

Sometimes called the “baby blues”, it’s normal to feel it’s normal to feel weepy, exhausted and overwhelmed for several days after giving birth. Many new mothers experience the “baby blues”, but many new mothers also experience postpartum depression. In fact, it can even affect new dads. More research is needed to connect all of the dots, but it’s thought to be linked to the sharp drop in estrogen and progesterone levels after delivery. Postpartum depression can impact not only you, but also your baby and make bonding challenging. If you are struggling, be sure to reach out to a healthcare provider for support. Here are some symptoms to watch out for that could indicate postpartum depression. 

Emotional symptoms of postpartum depression:

  • Extreme sadness, depression, anxiety or guilt
  • Frequent, uncontrollable crying spells
  • Feelings of worthlessness or hopelessness
  • Bizarre, frightening or suicidal thoughts
  • Resenting the baby and other family members
  • Severe changes in sleep or appetite
  • Feeling extremely restless, out of control, or lethargic
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Withdrawal from family, friends and social situations
  • Obsessive concern for baby, or none at all
  • Inability to cope

Physical symptoms of postpartum depression: 

  • Weakness
  • Feeling flushed
  • Gas, constipation or diarrhea
  • Headaches
  • Panic attacks: numbness, tingling in limbs, chest pain, hyperventilation, and heart palpitations

Worried you might have postpartum depression? Talk to your healthcare provider right away. 

Originally published in August 2011.


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