Postpartum Support

The first few weeks of caring for a newborn can be hard. New parents can feel overwhelmed, tired, frustrated, sad, and anxious. Sometimes these "baby blues" get better within a few weeks. But for some parents, they are too strong or don't go away.

You are not to blame. You are not alone. Help is available.

Postpartum depression is treatable. Treatment will help most postpartum parents feel like themselves again allowing them to enjoy having a new baby at home.

baby blues baby yawning

"Baby Blues" Symptoms

  • Mood swings
  • Anxiety
  • Sadness
  • Irritability
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Crying
  • Reduced concentration
  • Appetite problems
  • Trouble sleeping

Typically only last a couple of weeks before symptoms go away.

postpartum depression mother holding baby looking sad

Postpartum Depression Signs

  • Depressed mood or severe mood swings
  • Excessive crying
  • Difficulty bonding with your baby
  • Withdrawing from family and friends
  • Loss of appetite or eating much more than usual
  • Inability to sleep or sleeping too much
  • Overwhelming fatigue or loss of energy
  • Reduced interest and pleasure in activities you used to enjoy
  • Intense irritability and anger
  • Feelings of worthlessness, shame, guilt, hopelessness, or inadequacy
  • Diminished ability to think clearly, concentrate or make decisions
  • Severe anxiety and panic attacks
  • Thoughts of harming yourself or your baby
  • Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide

Call your doctor, pediatrician, or midwife if:

After two weeks your baby blues don’t go away

Depression symptoms become more intense

Within one year of delivery, your depression symptoms begin and last more than two weeks

You are struggling to work or get things done at home

You're having a hard time caring for yourself and/or your baby (e.g., eating, sleeping, bathing)

You're having thoughts of hurting yourself and/or your baby

Ask your partner, family member, or friend to make a call for you if necessary. Your doctor, pediatrician, or midwife can ask you questions to test for depression and refer you to a mental health professional for more help or treatment.

Tips for Coping with Postpartum Depression


Sunlight is a great source of Vitamin D. Many people during the winter get depressed from the lack of sunlight. Spend 30 minutes a day outside or try taking a Vitamin D supplement.


Although most people don’t feel like exercising when they are depressed, it helps improve blood flow, reduce stress, and release endorphins which is the feel-good chemical our body releases.


B vitamins are vital for optimal brain functions, hence their deprivation is linked with depression in individuals. Try taking a daily vitamin B12 supplement or eating foods such as fish, eggs, and poultry.


Contact with another human has been found to trigger the release of oxytocin, which is believed to minimize the risk for depressive symptoms as well as decrease maternal stress.


Essential oils can improve your mood. You can diffuse essential oils into the air, dissolve them in a bath, apply them during a massage, or use other methods to spread their aroma. Some of the popular oils to try are: jasmine, clary sage, and lavender.


Meditation has been shown to be helpful in treating and preventing postpartum depression. There are a lot of meditation apps to help you get started.

Non-Birthing Parent Postpartum Depression

Non-birthing parent postpartum depression is very similar to postpartum depression as the name suggests. It focuses on the mental challenges non-birthing parents face during pregnancy rather than the birth parent.

Luckily there are a lot of warning signs similar to postpartum depression that you can look out for in new parents. An important statistic to keep in mind is that the condition occurs more frequently 3-6 months after birth rather than in the immediate months after becoming a new parent.

Although symptoms of paternal postpartum depression are very similar to those experienced by birthing parents, here are some symptoms which appear specific to non-birthing parents:

Feelings of being excluded from the relationship between birthing parent and baby

Suffering extreme anxiety or panic attacks

Lack of interest in sex

Acting impulsively

Internal conflict between how you think you should be and how you actually are

Less socializing and avoiding friends

Performing poorly at work

Violent behavior

Local Resources
General Resources
  • Postpartum Support International
    The mission of Postpartum Support International is to promote awareness, prevention, and treatment of mental health issues related to childbearing in every country worldwide.
  • The Blue Dot Project
    Information on maternal mental health disorders, resources for support, and connection with others who currently struggle with and/or have survived these conditions.
  • Postpartum Health Alliance
    Information and resources, including an online support group and access to podcasts relating to perinatal mood disorders.