Signs & symptoms of post-partum depression

Created: May 14, 2003. - Reviewed: May 07, 2016.

The symptoms of postpartum depression can sometimes be overlooked, dismissed as ‘normal’ following childbirth, or attributed to sleep deprivation.  Early identification means you can take steps that help manage the situation sooner.

Signs & symptoms of post-partum depression
Rowena Bennett

Rowena Bennett

  • Registered Nurse
  • Registered Midwife
  • Child Health Nurse
  • Mental Health Nurse

Rowena over 20 years experience assisting parents to resolve well baby care problems.


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Not all of the following symptoms need to be present.  If you suspect you may be suffering with a postpartum depression the first step to recovery is to see your doctor.


  • Social withdrawal.
  • Fear of being alone.
  • Inability to get organized.
  • Loss of confidence.
  • Over concern about baby.
  • Negative feelings towards baby.
  • Feeling unable to cope with baby.
  • Feeling exhausted or fatigued.
  • Frequent headaches.
  • Irritability.
  • Apathy.
  • Tearfulness for no apparent reason.
  • Feelings of inadequacy, worthlessness or emptiness.
  • Feelings of guilt, resentment, anger or shame.
  • Persistent low mood or rapid mood swings.
  • Anxiety, panic attacks, phobias, irrational fears or obsessive thoughts.
  • Mental confusion, lack of concentration or poor memory.
  • Loss of interest in sex.
  • Sleep disturbances.
  • Poor appetite or overeating.
  • Thoughts of suicide.


Please note: Chronic sleep deprivation can also present with very similar symptoms.


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