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10 Common Symptoms of Postpartum Depression


Postpartum depression is also known as the Baby Blues and an emotional roller coaster. Postpartum depression is a mood condition that affects women before and after giving birth. Mothers with postpartum depression have anxiety, extreme sadness, and exhaustion that make it difficult to care for themselves or for their baby.

Postpartum depression is very common, with more than 3 million cases diagnosed each year in the United States. Treatment for postpartum depression includes counseling, antidepressants, and hormone therapy. If left untreated, postpartum depression can last months or longer.

Symptom 1: Mood Swings

Are you angry? Anxious? Feel guilty? Hopeless? Restless? Suffering from panic attacks? Have you lost interest or pleasure in activities? Postpartum depressions can cause frequent swings in your mood.

According to Psychcentral.com, “Postpartum depression is like a mood roller coaster for some women, as they swing from the heights of elation and joy to the depths of despair and sadness, at times cycling up and down rapidly and often. They may be more irritable and more easily angered or upset than in the period before pregnancy or delivery.”

Symptom 2: Bonding

Do you have difficulty bonding with your newborn child? Women want to develop a solid, strong, and healthy attachment with their baby. However, postpartum depression makes that difficult.

According to Womensmentalhealth.org, “The mother's feelings about her baby, described as bonding, typically grow and intensify after the baby's birth and become the foundation of the mother's relationship with her child. Some studies have noted an association between postpartum depression and poor bonding.”

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Symptom 3: Loss of Appetite

Do you not feel like eating? Have you lost your appetite? Or, do you eat more than you should? Postpartum depression can affect your appetite.

According to Postpartumprogress.com, one sufferer stated: “My symptoms came and went for a while, but began to include nausea and vomiting, lack of appetite, and an inability to sleep. I had a low-grade fever on and off for a couple of months and my white blood-cell count and my blood pressure were high. When I could sleep, I would wake up feeling horribly sick and immediately throw up.”

Symptom 4: Fatigue/Insomnia

Are you exhausted? Are you unable to fall asleep and stay asleep? Postpartum depression definitely interrupts your sleeping routine – as does the baby you just gave birth to!

According to Postpartumprogress.com, “Sleep deprivation can hamper a mother's ability to care for her infant, as judgment and concentration decline. Sleep-deprived mothers also may inadvertently compromise their infants' sleep quality because infants often adopt their mothers' circadian sleep rhythms.”

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Symptom 5: Depression

Feeling sad? Depressed? Lonely? Despair?

As the name suggests, postpartum depression can make you depressed.

Symptom 6: Fear/Repetitive Thoughts

Do you have fearful and intrusive thoughts that come out of nowhere? Do you repeatedly go over these thoughts? Do you constantly and excessively worry?

According to Postpartum.net, “Women with PPOCD can have repetitive, upsetting, and unwanted thoughts or mental images (obsessions), and sometimes they need to do certain things over and over (compulsions) to reduce the anxiety caused by those thoughts. These moms find these thoughts very scary and unusual and are very unlikely to ever act on them. Learn more about PPOCD, including risk factors, symptoms and treatment options.”

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Symptom 7: Lack of Concentration

Are you unable to concentrate? Do you forget things? Are you less coordinated than you used to be?

According to Steadyhealth.com, “If you are here because you are a new mom and you're wondering if your lack of concentration, apparent memory loss, and lack of coordination is one of the signs of postpartum depression, we can tell you straight up that it is.”

Symptom 8: Weight Gain/Loss

Have you gained or lost more weight than you should since giving birth? In general, it is hard for most women to lose pregnancy weight. Postpartum depression may make you gain or lose more weight than desired.

According to Postpartumprogress.com, “It is normal for weight loss back to pre-pregnancy weight to be slow. Many women are hard on themselves for gaining weight and feel uncomfortable with their postpartum bodies, and the low self-esteem that accompanies depression can magnify this.”

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Symptom 9: Intense Irritability

Are you really irritable? Angry? Frustrated? Does anything and everything put you in a fit of rage?

Although many women feel extreme joy and happiness with the birth of their child, those with postpartum depression do not. According to a post on Community.babycenter.com, “In fact, sometimes I'll become extremely irritated with them for no apparent reason. I don't have any other symptoms that I've seen listed for postpartum depression--hopelessness, weight loss, thoughts of harm, etc. Is this irritability just a hormonal thing that will work itself out or is it a little more serious?”

Symptom 10: Crying

Do you cry uncontrollably for no apparent reason?

Pregnancy and postpartum depression wreaks havoc on your hormones and emotions. If you cry all day long, you should contact your doctor.

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