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Postpartum Depression - When To Call a Doctor

Call 911, the national suicide hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255), the National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453), or other emergency services right away if:

  • You or someone you know is thinking seriously of committing suicide or has recently tried to commit suicide. Serious signs include these thoughts:
    • You have decided on how to kill yourself, such as with a weapon or medicines.
    • You have set a time and place to do it.
    • You think there is no other way to solve the problem or end the pain.
  • You feel you cannot stop from hurting yourself, your baby, or someone else.

Call a doctor right away if:

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Understanding Postpartum Depression -- Symptoms

Symptoms of postpartum depression (PDD) can be divided into three categories: Postpartum blues ("baby blues"): Very short in duration, may not require formal treatment but supportive care only. Postpartum depression: Lasts longer, is more debilitating, and requires medical care. Postpartum psychosis: Most severe form, requires aggressive psychiatric care. There are many possible symptoms of postpartum depression, including the following: Inability to sleep or...

Read the Understanding Postpartum Depression -- Symptoms article > >

  • You hear voices.
  • You have been thinking about death or suicide a lot, but you do not have a plan to commit suicide.
  • You are worried that your feelings of depression or thoughts of suicide are not going away.

Seek care soon if:

  • You have symptoms of depression, such as:
    • Feeling sad or hopeless.
    • Not enjoying anything.
    • Having trouble with sleep.
    • Feeling guilty.
    • Feeling anxious or worried.
  • You have been treated for depression for more than 3 weeks, but you are not getting better.

Who to see

Your pregnancy health professional may be the first person to note and diagnose postpartum depression. This is one of many reasons why it's important to have a medical check 3 to 6 weeks after childbirth.

Diagnosis and treatment of postpartum depression can be provided by a:

Counseling can be provided by a:

To prepare for your appointment, see the topic Making the Most of Your Appointment.

Next Article:

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: April 16, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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