e. Postpartum Blues and Depression


The arrival of a new baby is usually a happy time for most women. However, this is not always true. New mothers may feel different emotions ranging from happiness to sadness.

Two or three days after giving birth, about 80% of women may feel:

  • feel disappointed
  • be sad and teary eyed
  • be irritable
  • feel overwhelmed and anxious
  • feel fatigued and have difficulty sleeping
  • experience mood swings
  • be unable to concentrate

This is called postpartum or baby blues. These feelings usually go away within one to two weeks. However, about 10 percent of women go on to have postpartum depression.

Postpartum depression may begin within a few weeks after birth or at any time during your baby's first year.

Consult the following table to learn a few signs of postpartum depression.

If you have one or many of these symptoms, remember, you are not alone, and this is a treatable illness.

for more information.

See your doctor immediately or go to the emergency room at the hospital if:

  • You have scary fantasies;
  • you have thoughts of hurting your baby or yourself.

If other feelings depression persist longer than two or three weeks, contact:

  • your local family doctor or obstetrician.
  • a Public Health nurse or Nurse Practitioner.
  • your local Public Health Clinic (www.gnb.ca/publichealth then click on Public Health Clinics).
  • your local Mental Health Centre (www.gnb.ca/0055/contacts-e.asp).
  • Tele-Care 811.
  • a private counselor, psychologist or psychiatrist.

This video, created by the Best Start Resource Centre, introduces the topic of postpartum mood disorders.Life with a New Baby: Dealing with Postpartum Mood Disorders.