North Carolina Women’s Hospital
Mood Changes After Delivering a Baby
What moods changes could I have after delivering my baby?
During pregnancy and after the birth of your baby you may have many different mood changes and feelings. Being pregnant, going through labor and caring for a baby is all hard work. You may feel happy and excited one minute and feel worried and sad the next minute. These “highs” and “lows” are very common. They are called the “baby blues” and usually go away on their own a couple weeks after your baby is born.
If these feelings do not go away after a couple of weeks and you begin to worry about yourself, you may be suffering from a postpartum mood disorder. A postpartum mood disorder is an illness, just like heart disease. It changes the way you act and feel and can happen at anytime during the first year after the birth of your baby. There are different kinds of postpartum mood disorders: (1) postpartum anxiety and/or panic disorder (2) postpartum obsessive-compulsive disorder and (3) postpartum depression.
Who has postpartum mood disorders?
Any woman who is pregnant or has had a baby can have a postpartum mood disorder. They are very common. In fact, at least one in ten mothers have some type of postpartum depression. No one knows the exact reason for postpartum mood disorders. It does not matter if you have lots of help and support at home or whether your baby was born healthy. A postpartum mood disorder can happen without warning and none of the symptoms are your fault. It brings guilt and sadness at a time most women think they should be happy.
Can postpartum mood disorders be treated?
Mood disorders before, after or during pregnancy can be treated. Support, counseling and/or medicines can help. Many of these medicines appear to be safe in pregnancy and during breastfeeding. There is no reason to suffer alone. Many of the medicines are safe to take while you are breastfeeding. Your health care provider can help make a plan...
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