In the first few weeks after having a baby, 80 percent of new mothers experience feelings of sadness that eventually go away on their own, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Drops in estrogen and progesterone levels after childbirth leave women feeling weepy and fatigued. Postpartum depression (PPD) is a more serious diagnoses that resembles clinical depression. Symptoms of sadness deepen and do not improve over time.
However, not every mood disorder following birth is PPD. There are now a variety of recognized postpartum mood disorders, according to the American Pregnancy Association. Here are other conditions women may experience after having a baby:
1. Baby blues
These are normal, negative feelings that occur in a majority of new mothers. You may cry at the drop of a hat, feel overwhelmed or experience mood swings, but symptoms usually resolve within a week or two.
2. Postpartum anxiety
About one in 10 women will experience only anxiety after having a baby or anxiety alongside depression. You may worry all the time, constantly feel that something bad is going to happen or have panic attacks.
3. Postpartum obsessive compulsive disorder
About 3 percent to 5 percent of women will experience this, which may involve being hyperfocused on keeping your baby safe. As with other types of OCD, you may repeat an act that makes you feel less anxious, such as checking and rechecking something or cleaning obsessively.
4. Postpartum post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
About 1 percent to 6 percent of women experience this after having a traumatic childbirth or immediate aftermath, such as an emergency complication or a birth with unplanned interventions. You may have nightmares or flashbacks, panic attacks, insomnia and other symptoms.
5. Postpartum psychosis
Postpartum psychosis: This is an exceedingly rare condition that happens in only 1 or 2 out of every 1,000 pregnancies. You may experience suicidal thoughts, hallucinations or delusions and exhibit bizarre behavior.