Postpartum depression generally shows up within three months of giving birth, but it may occur up to a year later. Symptoms of postpartum depression are similar to the symptoms of clinical depression and can include:

  • Agitation, anxiety or irritability
  • Eating too little or a lot
  • Sleeping too little or a lot
  • Sadness
  • Frequent crying
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
  • Feeling withdrawn or unconnected
  • Lack of pleasure or interest in most activities
  • Poor concentration or memory
  • Loss of energy or fatigue
  • Problems doing tasks at home or work
  • Lack of interest in or negative feelings toward the baby, or intense worry
  • Thoughts of death or suicide

It's typical for women to have some of these symptoms in the days following delivery, which is commonly referred to as "the baby blues." The baby blues will usually go away within a week or so. If symptoms last for two weeks or more after giving birth, contact your doctor or a health care professional—it might be necessary to get treatment for postpartum depression.

Sources:

American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists

American Psychiatric Association

JAMA Patient Page: Postpartum Depression. JAMA, October 20, 2010—Vol 304, No. 15

Massachusetts General Hospital

The National Women's Health Information Center, a service of the Office of Women's Health of the U.S. Dept of Health and Human Services.

Publication Review By: the Editorial Staff at HealthCommunities.com

Published: 15 Feb 2011

Last Modified: 17 Feb 2015