Postpartum Depression

Postpartum depression (PPD) is a form of depression that occurs specifically during pregnancy or after childbirth.

Postpartum Depression

Postpartum depression (PPD) is a form of depression that occurs specifically during pregnancy or after childbirth.

Postpartum Blues

Many women experience postpartum blues a few days after delivery.  They may begin to feel depressed, anxious, and upset. They may feel angry with the new baby, their partners, or their other children. They also may:

  • cry for no clear reason
  • have trouble sleeping, eating, and making choices
  • question whether they can handle caring for a baby

These feelings, often called the postpartum blues, may come and go in the first few days after childbirth. The postpartum blues usually get better within a few days or 1–2 weeks without any treatment. 

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Postpartum Depression Help

Postpartum depression is more serious and gets worse over time.  Women with postpartum depression have intense feelings of sadness, anxiety, or despair that prevent them from being able to do their daily tasks.

Useful information about postpartum depression can be found on the following web sites: 

National Women’s Health Information Center

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Medline Plus

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Postpartum Support International

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Frequently Asked Questions

If you think you may have postpartum depression, or if your partner or family members are concerned that you do, it is important to see your health care provider as soon as possible. Do not wait until your postpartum checkup. 

Postpartum depression can be treated with medications called antidepressants. Talk therapy also is used to treat depression, often in combination with medications. 

If a woman takes antidepressants, they can be transferred to her baby during breastfeeding. The levels found in breast milk generally are very low. Breastfeeding has many benefits for both you and your baby. Deciding to take an antidepressant while breastfeeding involves weighing these benefits against the potential risks of your baby being exposed to the medication in your breast milk. It is best to discuss this decision with your health care provider. 

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