Postpartum Depression

Transition to motherhood can be a stressful time and many women experience some difficulty adjusting to their new role. This is true even for the experienced mom. Within the first two weeks of childbirth, about 80 percent of new mothers experience “the baby blues.” New moms with the baby blues have mild sadness and emotional ups and downs. However, if these symptoms persist in duration or worsen in severity, they may be symptoms of postpartum depression.

Postpartum depression is a mood disorder that arises following the birth of a baby and is characterized by persistent sadness and/or loss of pleasure in normally enjoyable activities. It can also include changes in eating and/or sleeping habits (more or less), difficulty concentrating or making decisions, feelings of hopelessness, guilt or worthlessness or thoughts of suicide or harm to others.

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.
Additional resources:
  • Postpartum Depression National Hotline: 1-800-944-4773
  • Wyandotte County Mental Health Crisis Hotline: 913-788-4200
  • Johnson County Mental Health Crisis Hotline: 913-268-0156
  • National Postpartum Depression Website: www.postpartumprogress.com