Postpartum Mood Disorders

Postpartum Mood Disorders

A big misperception of Postpartum Depression (PPD) is that it only consists of feeling sad and lots of crying. These “baby blues” should go away by 6 weeks after birth.  In fact, the term Postpartum Depression, although a buzz word lately, does not accurately describe the myriad of emotions in the postpartum world.

Crying and sadness are emotions that can be associated with PPD. However, the truth is there are many different ways PPD can present itself.  It can manifest months even a year after child birth. 21% of women are affected with some sort of perinatal mood or anxiety disorder. These symptoms are detectable but sadly, screening for them isn’t happening as much as it should be.

Here are some common symptoms and terms that may help identify a mood disorder.

Postpartum Depression – generally encompasses sadness, irritability, change in eating habits, inability to sleep, feelings of hopelessness, disinterest in the baby.

Postpartum Anxiety – extreme worries and fear of the safety of the baby, panic attacks, dizziness, inability to sleep, racing thoughts

Postpartum Panic Disorder – a specific form of anxiety associated with recurring panic attacks, chest pain, heart palpitations

Postpartum Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder – persistent, repetitive thoughts or mental images of the baby that are typically horrifying; thoughts of harming baby; Hypervigilance, fear of being left alone with baby, Checking and rechecking doing things, obsess about cleanliness

Postpartum Psychosis – the rarest of these disorders.  Common symptoms included delusions, hearing things, hallucinations, inability to sleep, sometimes trouble communicating

This is a very short list of common symptoms.  The important thing to remember is that all of these disorders are treatable.  Seek help and support.

The Nurtured Mama specializes in prenatal and postpartum massage therapy and has been trained in perinatal mood disorders. To participate in a support group in North Scottsdale or to book an appointment please contact Melinda Leon at or view their website   

For more information and symptoms on perinatal moods visit  If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms call the warmline at 800.944.4773.