OH-Blog Logo
Feb 15, 2017 OHIOHEALTH
The Difference Between Postpartum Anxiety and Postpartum Depression

Did you know 70 percent of moms suffer from the “baby blues”? After pregnancy, your body loses those high levels of estrogen and progesterone, and hormonal changes can be responsible for major mood changes. These feelings of anxiety, worry, and sadness are common, but many moms don’t know how to spot the difference between postpartum anxiety and postpartum depression.

Postpartum Anxiety

If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms below, you’re dealing with postpartum anxiety that will likely disappear within a few weeks and is a typical response to your changing hormone levels.

• Feelings of anxiety and a desire to run away that decreases with reassurance and the elimination of a challenging situation
• Temporary body aches
• Temporary moments of sadness, anger, disappointment, irritability or loss of concentration
• Sleeplessness or fatigue that comes from a changing sleep schedule
• Uncertainty about the requirements of motherhood without losing the ability to look to the future
• Feelings of isolation

Postpartum Depression

Postpartum depression can include some similar symptoms, but they are much more severe and last for a longer period of time. If you’re experiencing any of these issues, it’s important to find support.

• Feelings of sadness, depression, anxiety, guilt, irritability, worthlessness and hopelessness
• Lack of interest in your baby
• Thoughts of harming the baby or yourself
• Major changes in eating habits
• Obsession or rumination
• Loss of interest in hobbies
• Inability to cope with your body
• Fatigue or change in sleeping habits
• Extreme concern about your baby’s health

When experiencing postpartum depression, these symptoms tend to appear 2-3 months after childbirth and last for longer than two weeks. If you notice they interfere with your ability to function, this is the sign of a more serious concern.

If you’re unsure whether your postpartum symptoms are a sign of something serious, speak with your doctor immediately.