Postpartum Depression - What Happens

Symptoms of postpartum depression start in the weeks to months after childbirth, miscarriage, or stillbirth.

In some cases, symptoms peak after slowly building for 3 or 4 months.

Fathers of new babies or partners of new moms can also experience postpartum depression.

Postpartum depression makes it hard for you to function well. This includes caring for and bonding with your baby.

In rare cases, dangerous postpartum psychosis symptoms can occur within the first few postpartum weeks, as soon as a few days after childbirth.

Early treatment counts

Early treatment is important for you, your baby, and the rest of your family. The sooner you start, the more quickly you will recover. And there's less chance that your depression will affect your baby. Babies of depressed mothers might be less attached to their mothers and might lag behind developmentally in behavior and mental ability.

For more information about who is more likely to have postpartum depression, see What Increases Your Risk.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
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