In the first days after childbirth, about 8 out of 10 women will experience mood swings or mild depression
, often called the "baby blues." It is considered normal for women to feel the baby blues for about 3 to 10 days after childbirth. These feelings usually go away in a week or two, and don't need to be treated.
If your "baby blues" last longer than two weeks, or are more severe than simple mood swings or mild depression, you may have postpartum depression. After giving birth, about 10 to 15 out of 100 women experience postpartum depression. Women with this condition commonly experience some of these postpartum depression symptoms:
- Strong feelings of depression, anger, doubt, guilt, or helplessness that seem to get worse over time
- An inability to care for themselves or their baby
- Change in appetite
- Anxiety or panic attacks
- Being intensely worried or concerned about the baby
- Having little or no interest in the baby
- Thoughts of suicide.
(Click Postpartum Depression Symptoms for more information.)