Postpartum depression is a serious condition which can develop anywhere from a few days to six months after a woman gives birth. Postpartum depression’s symptoms should not be ignored, even if you are unsure if you or your partner’s symptoms are severe enough to seek medical attention.

Women can expect certain changes post-childbirth, but when these changes escalate to affect mood and personality, professional medical attention should be sought.

Certain symptoms that will not require medical attention unless they escalate in severity include:

  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Anxiety
  • Sadness
  • Irritability
  • Mood swings
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Loss of appetite

There are certain symptoms that should not be ignored or considered normal, and medical attention should be sought immediately. These symptoms include:

  • Severe mood swings
  • Intense anxiety, sadness and/or irritability
  • Inability to bond with your baby
  • Intense fear that you are a bad mother
  • Feelings of shame, guilt, inadequacy or worthlessness
  • Panic attacks
  • Consistent crying
  • Loss of interest in family, friends and favorite activities and/or foods
  • Thoughts of self-harm or harm to your baby
  • Suicidal thoughts

Many women expect that their hormones will trigger mood swings post-childbirth, but they often don’t realize the difference between the typical “baby blues” and postpartum depression. By ignoring the more severe symptoms or simply hoping they will go away, women put their own health as well as the health of their child at risk from a condition they cannot cure on their own. Postpartum depression is never anyone’s fault, but it can overwhelm women already facing sleepless nights and stress. If you would like to discuss your symptoms or are concerned that your symptoms are severe, please contact PGOMG today.

PGOMG invites patients to read our top blog posts on pregnancy and postpartum depression: