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Up to 80% of new mothers experience mood swings, cry a lot and have difficulty sleeping during the first few weeks after giving birth. These feelings are sometimes called the “baby blues.“

Feeling overwhelmed after your baby is born is common. Your body is getting used to changing hormone levels and sleep schedules. And, becoming a new parent can be stressful. If you feel sad, anxious and/or unable to cope after giving birth, talk with your doctor or other health care provider.

Anxiety During and After Pregnancy

These are a group of symptoms that can affect women during pregnancy (perinatal) and the first year after pregnancy (postpartum). Up to 20% of women experience a perinatal or postpartum mood and anxiety disorder (PMAD). You may have a PMAD if your symptoms last more than a few weeks, feel worse than the baby blues or get in the way of caring for yourself and your baby.

A PMAD often begins within the first month after childbirth, but it can begin during pregnancy or up to a year after your child is born.

Call your doctor if:

  • You feel very anxious or stressed, even if you’re not sure why.
  • You find it hard to work or get things done at home.
  • You feel you can’t care for your baby, like feeding or bathing your baby.
  • You don’t feel like caring for yourself, like dressing, bathing or combing your hair.
  • You often feel sad and cry, even about little things or nothing at all.

If a PMAD goes untreated, it can have unwanted and negative effects on your family. But, there are effective treatment options to help you recover.