Prenatal Health — Postpartum Depression and Anxiety

Postpartum mood changes are very common. Up to 80% of women will experience postpartum blues. This a short-term transition where moods are more spontaneous, changing quickly. Recognition, support, and sleep are helpful in this time (one day to two weeks). One in 8 women will develop a more significant depression in the postpartum time. Anxiety can become more prominent and interfere with daily functioning. Sleep deprivation is common during this time because of round-the-clock feedings, and this may worsen these symptoms. Women with a history of depression or anxiety are at higher risk for recurrence during pregnancy and postpartum.

Treatment for perinatal mood disorders

  • Support from partners and spouses
  • Improved sleep, nutrition, and self-care
  • Enlisting family and friends to help
  • Considering a postpartum doula
  • Considering counseling or a support group
  • Medications — please call WHC or a psychiatrist to arrange an evaluation

The Website for Pregnancy & Postpartum Support Minnesota can be a helpful place for information:

  • Self-test to assess symptoms
  • List of providers specializing in postpartum mood disorders
  • Community for involved couples