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Baby Blues

While you are in the hospital you will be able to use our in-room television service to choose from informative educational topics depending on your own personal interests. This information is available in both English and Spanish.

Postpartum Screening

Your OB will administer a screening to help detect any symptoms of the baby blues, depression and anxiety that may be present following childbirth. This is a screening tool and does not diagnose postpartum depression. The tool provides important information for health care providers as they develop a treatment plan and making referrals if needed. Patients should be well informed about postpartum signs and symptoms. Signs and symptoms of the baby blues, which last only a few days to a week or two, may include:

  • Mood swings
  • AnxietySadness
  • Irritability
  • Crying
  • Decreased concentration
  • Trouble sleeping

Postpartum Depression Symptoms

Postpartum depression may appear to be the baby blues at first but the signs and symptoms are more intense and longer lasting, eventually interfering with your ability to care for your baby and handle other daily tasks. Postpartum depression symptoms may include:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Insomnia
  • Intense irritability and anger
  • Overwhelming fatigue
  • Loss of interest in sex
  • Lack of joy in life
  • Feelings of shame, guilt or inadequacy
  • Severe mood swings
  • Difficulty bonding with your baby
  • Withdrawal from family and friends
  • Thoughts of harming yourself or your baby

Untreated, postpartum depression may last for many months or longer.

Postpartum Psychosis

With postpartum psychosis, a rare condition that typically develops within the first two weeks after delivery, the signs and symptoms are even more severe. Signs and symptoms of postpartum psychosis may include:

  • Confusion and disorientation
  • Hallucinations and delusions
  • Paranoia
  • Attempts to harm yourself or your baby

When to See a Doctor

If you’re feeling depressed after your baby’s birth, you may be reluctant or embarrassed to admit it. It’s important to call your doctor if the signs and symptoms of depression have any of these features:

  • Don’t fade after two weeks
  • Are getting worse
  • Make it hard for you to care for your baby
  • Make it hard to complete everyday tasks
  • Include thoughts of harming yourself or your baby

If you suspect that you’re developing postpartum psychosis, seek medical attention immediately. Don’t wait and hope for improvement. Postpartum psychosis may lead to life-threatening thoughts or behaviors.

It is recommended that you discuss any concerns with your provider. Call Behavioral Health Central Intake at 800-765-9999 to schedule an appointment. For more information visit postpartum.net or nimh.nih.gov.