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. Call your ob-gyn or primary care doctor. He or she can screen you for depression and treat your depression symptoms. If needed, your doctor will refer you to a mental health professional.
Postpartum psychosis: Most severe form, requires aggressive psychiatric care.
Call 911 or get immediate emergency help if you have either of the following symptoms:
You have hallucinations and delusions about yourself or your baby; don't wait, this is an emergency.
You have thoughts about hurting yourself or your baby; this is also an emergency and needs immediate help.
Suicidal thoughts or attempts (intent or attempt to kill oneself) and homicidal thoughts or attempts (intent or attempt to kill another person) are very serious and are real risks of postpartum depression. These symptoms are not a myth or imaginary, and several cases have been well publicized. Seek immediate medical care if you have suicidal or homicidal thoughts.