So you have just accomplished the mammoth task of delivering a baby and brought the tiny miracle home. Your social media feed is flooded with picture-perfect newbie moms with their babies. However, in reality, things can get a little messier. Feeling inadequate and disconnected is a common phenomenon. This condition is known as PPD or Postpartum Depression. It is a medical condition in which a woman feels a strong sense of sadness and anxiety after childbirth. Postpartum depression can occur within the first few weeks after delivery. Postpartum depression makes it hard for you to enjoy this joyful time. It is not your fault, postpartum depression PPD is extremely common and treatable.

What is Postpartum Depression (PPD)?


Postpartum depression is more than just baby blues. In postpartum depression, mothers experience a range of emotions after childbirth. Symptoms involve extreme fatigue, emotional changes and difficulty bonding with your baby. Every mother experiences postpartum depression differently. Some moms might experience mild symptoms, while others might have stronger ones. Hence it is important to seek help if you're feeling overwhelmed – regardless of how mild or strong your symptoms seem.


Symptoms Postpartum Depression

Characterizing postpartum depression with sadness and anxiety can be an understatement. There are several mental and physiological symptoms that a woman with postpartum depression can display. Here are a few:   

  • Feeling down: After the initial joy of welcoming your baby, you might start feeling down all day. Even small things may make you cry.
  • Feeling overwhelmed: Caring for a newborn can be exhausting. This can lead to irritability and anxiety. If you have postpartum depression you might find yourself snapping at your loved ones or feeling on the edge most of the time.
  • Losing interest in activities you loved: Your hobbies pre-pregnancy can feel like a chore after delivery. Activities that bring you joy might seem dull. Such mood changes can be the result of extreme changes in hormones caused by pregnancy.
  • Doubts or guilt: A persistent feeling of not being a good enough parent or a feeling of worthlessness can make it difficult for you to connect with your baby.
  • Hormonal and chemical changes: Pregnancy triggers a surge in hormones like estrogen and progesterone. Although changes in hormones are common during pregnancy, extreme fluctuations can be a contributing factor to postpartum depression.
  • Struggling to bond: You might find it difficult to connect with your baby. Severe fatigue, emotional changes, and guilt can cause this.
  • Changes in sleep: You might struggle to fall asleep or sleep all the time but still feel tired. Constantly having trouble sleeping is not just a result of nighttime childcare but also a symptom of Postpartum depression.  
  • Changes in appetite: One of the biggest challenges and symptoms of postpartum depression is extreme appetite changes. You might find yourself stress-eating or having a very low appetite.  
  • Social changes and withdrawal: Avoiding interaction and isolating yourself can be a major symptom of postpartum depression.
  • Psychological changes and body image issues: You may experience body image issues due to physical changes brought about by pregnancy. The pressure to get back into your pre-pregnancy shape can be distressing. Other physical changes, such as stretch marks, and changing breast size, can contribute to self-consciousness, resulting in postpartum depression. 

What effects can postpartum depression have on your baby?

  • As mentioned before, you might find it extremely hard to bond with your newborn. 
  • Postpartum depression affects breastfeeding. You and your baby may find it difficult to get used to breastfeeding. 
  • The baby may develop learning disabilities, behavioural changes, and other mental conditions in the future.
  • Postpartum depression can make it hard for you to take care of yourself and your baby. For example; you may not be able to give the general medical attention your baby needs such as health checkups and vaccination.

Rare complication of postpartum depression

While most cases of postpartum depression (PPD) involve feelings of sadness, anxiety, or difficulty bonding, it's important to be aware that in rare situations, on the other side of the spectrum, postpartum depression (PPD) can manifest in more serious ways. In some cases, new moms experience postpartum psychosis which includes thoughts of harming themselves and their newborns along with delusions, hallucinations and paranoia. These thoughts can lead to extreme anxiety, shame, guilt and major depression. If you find yourself having such thoughts, it is not your fault. These thoughts do not represent your true feelings or intentions, these are mere symptoms of a treatable illness. It is extremely crucial to reach out for help. Seeking professional help is the single bravest step you can take for you and your baby to overcome postpartum depression. There are several effective treatments available to treat postpartum depression successfully. 

Bringing a new life into this world is one of the most wonderful experiences in life. Don’t let postpartum depression steal the magic. If you are experiencing baby blues please talk to your healthcare professional. Remember, postpartum depression is a spectrum and even mild feelings of distress can be a sign so don't dismiss them. The sooner you talk to your doctor or healthcare professional, the easier it is to nip postpartum depression (PPD) in the bud.


For partners, it can be a confusing and difficult time as well. Watching a loved one struggle with postpartum depression can be difficult and you might wonder how to help her. Sometimes little things go a long way. Listen without judgement. Encourage her to prioritise self-care. Take care of yourself so that you can create a strong support system for your family. Remember, even a father's depression is a possibility. Be aware of the signs and encourage them to seek help if needed. By working as a team you overcome postpartum depression and create a safe and healthy environment for your family to flourish.