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What is the difference between “baby blues,” postpartum depression, and postpartum psychosis?
Many women have the baby blues in the days after childbirth. If you have the baby blues, you may:
Have mood swings
Feel sad, anxious, or overwhelmed
Have crying spells
Lose your appetite
Have trouble sleeping
The baby blues most often go away within a few days or a week. The symptoms are not severe and do not need treatment.
The symptoms of postpartum depression last longer and are more severe. Postpartum depression can begin anytime within the first year after childbirth. If you have postpartum depression, you may have any of the symptoms of depression listed above. Symptoms may also include:
Thoughts of hurting the baby
Thoughts of hurting yourself
Not having any interest in the baby
Postpartum depression needs to be treated by a doctor.
Postpartum psychosis (seye-KOH-suhss) is rare. It occurs in about 1 to 4 out of every 1,000 births. It usually begins in the first 2 weeks after childbirth. Women who have bipolar disorder or another mental health problem called schizoaffective (SKIT-soh-uh-FEK-tiv) disorder have a higher risk for postpartum psychosis. Symptoms may include:
Seeing things that aren’t there
Having rapid mood swings
Trying to hurt yourself or your baby