Postpartum Depression

Postpartum depression can begin during pregnancy, right after giving birth or anytime in the first year of your child's life. You can experience postpartum depression with your first pregnancy or subsequent pregnancies. It can even develop with adopted children.

Find support

Speak with your health care provider if you have any questions about how you are feeling after the birth of your baby or if your score on the Edinburgh Screen (below) score indicates concern. They can help provide you with supports and referrals.

Signs and symptoms

Beginning around the 2nd or 3rd day after birth, a woman may feel sad, weepy, anxious and moody. These feelings generally last a few hours to a week and subside without the need for treatment.

Postpartum mood disorders and depression are marked by more intense feelings of:

  • sadness
  • anxiety
  • despair

These feelings can affect a mother's ability to care for herself and her new baby. One in 5 women who have a baby may develop this condition.

If not recognized and treated, postpartum depression may become worse or last longer than necessary.

Mental health checklist for new moms

The Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale includes a checklist that can help assess your mental state. You may find this tool helpful.