True postpartum depression can strike at anytime in the year after birth. So simply because a mother feels well a few weeks or months after her baby is born doesn't mean that she is completely out of the woods and some women are at a higher risk of postpartum depression. Signs of postpartum depression include:
- Being very irritable
- Being tired or unmotivated, beyond normal
- Feeling hopeless or overwhelmed
- Feeling sad or anxious (including racing heart, tight chest)
- Sleeping too much or too little
- Crying easily over anything or for no reason
- Eating too much or too little
- Inability to concentrate or make decisions
- No interest in activities, particularly those that were previously pleasurable
- Withdrawing from family and friends
- Lack of interest in the baby
If you or someone you know has these signs after giving birth and they don't get better in a week or two, seek professional help. If the mother has thoughts of harming herself or the baby seek help immediately.
Generally you can call your midwife or doctor for help or a referral to a qualified practitioner.