Many new moms feel happy one minute and sad the next. If you feel better after a week or so, you probably just had the "baby blues." If it takes you longer to feel better, you may have postpartum depression.
Postpartum depression is when a new mother has a major depressive episode within one month after delivery. Ten to 15 percent of women experience postpartum depression after giving birth. It can make you feel restless, anxious, fatigued and worthless. Some new moms worry they will hurt themselves or their babies. Unlike the "baby blues," postpartum depression does not go away quickly.
Very rarely, new moms develop something even more serious. They may stop eating, have trouble sleeping, and become frantic or paranoid. Women with this more serious condition usually need to be hospitalized.
Researchers think that changes in your hormone levels during and after pregnancy may lead to postpartum depression. If you think you have it, tell your health care provider. Medicine and talk therapy can help you get well.
This article first appeared on womenshealth.gov.