What are the Baby Blues?

  • Occurs within a few days of the baby’s birth and lasts for up to 2 weeks.
  • Symptoms are tearfulness, exhaustion, anxiety, and difficulty sleeping.
  • Usually goes away without treatment.

What is PPD?

  • Serious, sometimes life-threatening condition.
  • Can occur anywhere between 4-6 weeks after delivery or anytime during the first year.
  • During the first month after delivery, the risk of depression rises 3x that of women who have not given birth.
  • Excessive worry about the baby
  • Crying, tearfulness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Anxiety out of proportion to event

What is PPA?

  • Excessive anxiety and worry (often about the safety and health of the baby)
  • Inability to control thoughts or sleep
  • Agitation and/or restlessness
  • Irritability
  • Rapid heartbeat, sweating, feelings of panic or shortness of breath.


  • Happens in about 3-5% of women, and often occurs with depression
  • Centers around thoughts or images of harming baby or something harmful happening
  • Afraid to be alone with the baby
  • Can be distressing and incapacitating

Postpartum PTSD?

  • Post-Traumatic Stress” includes difficult memories or feelings that are a result of a frightening event in the past.
  • Post-Traumatic Stress can make us feel: anxious, panicky, angry, or a sense of unreality.
  • Sometimes moms or dads have stress and anxiety because they felt afraid during childbirth.
  • Sometimes people have recurrent images or nightmares, fears, or want to withdraw and avoid people and places that remind them of the event.
  • Post-traumatic stress is completely treatable. You will feel better if you reach out for help.

Postpartum Psychosis

  • Postpartum psychosis is a serious condition that requires immediate medical attention. It occurs in up to 1 out of 500 women after birth.
  • People with psychosis have a complete break from reality, and might see, hear, or believe things that are not true for others.
  • Psychosis can cause: severe mood swings, inability to sleep, extreme irritability, withdrawal, inappropriate conversation, hallucinations and irrational or violent thoughts and beliefs.
  • If you or someone you know sees or hears things that others do not, or has beliefs or plans to cause harm to self or baby, this is an emergency. You must get immediate help and treatment.
  • If any of these symptoms are present, a family member should call your healthcare provider or crisis line immediately, or go to the hospital for help.
  • You can’t expect a person in a psychotic state to agree to your logic. You have to be willing to let them be upset with you for getting treatment.