Postpartum Depression: Symptoms & Signs

Medically Reviewed on 9/10/2019

Postpartum depression is more than just the "blues" after giving birth. The symptoms include

  • feelings of hopelessness or worthlessness,
  • depression,
  • anxiety,
  • problems bonding with the baby,
  • sadness, and
  • possible feelings of wanting to hurt oneself or the baby.

In the case of suicidal thoughts or thoughts of harming the baby, postpartum depression is a medical emergency, and medical care should be accessed immediately. Early signs and symptoms of postpartum depression can begin any time in the year after the birth. Symptoms of postpartum depression last longer than the blues and may interfere with a woman's daily life and activities. Not all women with postpartum depression experience all of the symptoms, and the symptoms can vary among affected women. (For example, some affected women may sleep excessively while others report insomnia.)

Postpartum depression causes

It is unknown exactly why some women develop postpartum depression. A combination of genetic factors, hormonal changes, and environmental influences is likely involved.

Other postpartum depression symptoms and signs

  • Anger
  • Anxiety
  • Concentration Problems
  • Crying Spells
  • Excessive Sleeping
  • Exhaustion
  • Fatigue
  • Feelings of Hopelessness
  • Feelings of Loneliness
  • Feelings of Worthlessness
  • Guilt
  • Inability to Feel Pleasure
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Loss of Interest in Daily Activities
  • Mood Swings
  • Obsessions
  • Panic Attacks
  • Problems Bonding With the Baby
  • Recurrent Thoughts of Death
  • Reduced Pleasure or Interest in Activities
  • Sadness
  • Sleep Disturbances
  • Social Withdrawal
  • Suicidal Thoughts
  • Thoughts of Harming the Baby
  • Unwanted Thoughts
  • Weight Gain or Loss
  • Worrying

Joy, Saju. "Postpartum Depression." Jan. 30, 2017. <>.