Search MyHealth

Postpartum Depression Self-Assessment Screening

Postpartum Depression Risk Assessment

It's natural to feel strong emotions when you're pregnant and just after you've had a baby. You may feel elated, or you may feel sad. Many women have the "baby blues" just after birth. They feel sad, impatient, or irritable. These feelings usually go away in a week or two. They don't always need to be treated by a health care provider. For some women, feelings of sadness are much more intense. These intense feelings are called postpartum depression, or PPD. Changes in hormones and brain chemistry are linked to PPD; these are not things you can control, and you may need help. Postpartum depression can be treated with medication and counseling.

This assessment asks you questions to help you figure out your risk for postpartum depression.

I am currently pregnant.I have recently delivered a baby.

More Than Just the Baby Blues

The first months of a baby's life should be a time of joy for new parents. But for many new mothers, these months are marked by sadness, fear, anger, or anxiety.

It's common to have short spells of sadness or grouchiness after giving birth, because of the pain, change in hormone levels, and lack of sleep. But sometimes the feelings are extreme and won't go away. These feelings may be signs of postpartum depression.

How you may feel

The "baby blues" can make a new mother feel alone, afraid, and exhausted. These feelings are common and normal. The baby blues are not as severe as postpartum depression and do not last as long. Women who suffer from postpartum depression are so overwhelmed by these feelings that they can't function normally. And these symptoms do not go away after the first two weeks after delivery. Women with postpartum depression feel hopeless and anxious. They may feel angry at their partner or at their baby. They may begin to wonder whether they are cut out for motherhood.

Does this sound like you?

Talk with your health care provider if you experience any of the following warning signs:

  • Sadness or anxiety that lasts for more than two weeks after giving birth

  • Strong feelings of depression and anger that appear a month or two after your baby is born

  • Increased or decreased hunger

  • Anxiety or panic attacks

  • Trouble sleeping

  • Sleeping too much

  • Fear that you might hurt your baby or yourself

  • Sadness, guilt, or hopelessness

  • Little interest in your baby or other members of your family

What you should know

It's important to know that although postpartum depression can be serious, it doesn't mean that you're unfit to be a parent. Pain from giving birth and changes in your body may contribute to the depression. The sudden drop in hormones and lack of sleep may also be factors.

Some ways to cope

Postpartum depression can be treated. The sooner it is diagnosed, the sooner you can begin to enjoy the new member of your family. But you must get professional help to be diagnosed and treated.

If you have the symptoms of postpartum depression, you can do a lot to improve your situation. In addition to talking with a health care provider, it's important to take the following steps:

  • Rely on your family and friends. By talking with friends and relatives who have children, you may also find others who have dealt with similar emotions.

  • Share your feelings, no matter how frightening they may seem, with your partner.

  • Try to create some private time for yourself.

  • Get the support of your partner, and ask for help with cooking, cleaning, and taking care of the baby. And don't be afraid to speak up when you feel overwhelmed.

Getting help for postpartum depression starts with recognizing the symptoms, and then realizing that you are not alone. If you or a loved one is living with postpartum depression, seek advice from your health care provider right away.

Postpartum Depression Risk Assessment

It's natural to feel strong emotions when you're pregnant and just after you've had a baby. You may feel elated, or you may feel sad. Many women have the "baby blues" just after birth. They feel sad, impatient, or irritable. These feelings usually go away in a week or two. They don't always need to be treated by a health care provider. For some women, feelings of sadness are much more intense. These intense feelings are called postpartum depression, or PPD. Changes in hormones and brain chemistry are linked to PPD; these are not things you can control, and you may need help. Postpartum depression can be treated with medication and counseling.

This assessment asks you questions to help you figure out your risk for postpartum depression.

I am currently pregnant.I have recently delivered a baby.

Postpartum Depression Risk Assessment

It's natural to feel strong emotions when you're pregnant and just after you've had a baby. You may feel elated, or you may feel sad. Many women have the "baby blues" just after birth. They feel sad, impatient, or irritable. These feelings usually go away in a week or two. They don't always need to be treated by a health care provider. For some women, feelings of sadness are much more intense. These intense feelings are called postpartum depression, or PPD. Changes in hormones and brain chemistry are linked to PPD; these are not things you can control, and you may need help. Postpartum depression can be treated with medication and counseling.

This assessment asks you questions to help you figure out your risk for postpartum depression.

I am currently pregnant.I have recently delivered a baby.