Postpartum depression is a severe form of depression occurring after childbirth and pregnancy. One study found that out of ten thousand participants, one out of every seven mothers with newborns experienced postpartum depression. Although postpartum depression may begin any time in the first year of birth, it typically occurs within the first three weeks. Postpartum depression is unique to every pregnancy and may affect both experienced and first-time moms alike.
Symptoms of postpartum depression may include severe mood swings, excessive crying, sad feelings, change in appetite, intense anger and irritability, insomnia or fatigue, and apathy. Women suffering from postpartum depression may have difficulty bonding with their new baby or fear they are not a good mother. They may feel shame, guilt, and worthlessness, or have problems concentrating or thinking clearly. Severe cases may include panic attacks or thoughts of suicide or harming the new baby.