Postpartum depression assessment
For many new moms, the joy of a baby's birth is tempered by sadness, fear or anger. These feelings are sometimes called the baby blues. They are often short-lived. But they could signal postpartum depression. This is a serious problem.
This assessment can help you learn more about the symptoms of the baby blues and postpartum depression—and what you might need to do about them.
Note: This assessment is not a substitute for a visit with your healthcare provider.
Check the box next to the descriptions that match the symptoms you (or a loved one) are experiencing.
I'm restless or irritable.
I feel worthless and guilty.
I eat too little or too much.
I sleep too little or too much.
I have no energy or motivation.
I feel sad, hopeless and overwhelmed.
I've withdrawn from friends and family.
I cry more often or more easily than usual.
I've lost interest or pleasure in activities that I used to enjoy.
I have headaches, chest pains, heart palpitations or hyperventilation (fast and shallow breathing).
I have trouble focusing, remembering or making decisions.
I don't have any interest in my baby, or I have a high level of anxiety about the baby.
I have thoughts of hurting myself or my baby.
Click the statement that best describes how long your symptoms have lasted.
My symptoms started a few days after delivery and have lasted less than 2 weeks.
My symptoms have lasted more than 2 weeks.
If you answered that you have had thoughts of hurting yourself or your baby, you should contact your doctor right away. Treatment can help you.
If none of the symptom descriptions in the assessment applied to you, you do not appear to have symptoms of the baby blues or postpartum depression. However, it is important to note that postpartum depression can occur anytime within the first year after you give birth. If your symptoms change or you have any concerns about your health, talk to your healthcare provider. In the meantime, these tips may help you stay healthy.
If any of the symptom descriptions in the assessment apply to you and have lasted for less than two weeks, you may have the baby blues. This can happen in the days right after birth. It usually goes away after about a week (often without treatment).
It's important that you tell others how you're feeling and seek their support. Your friends, family and healthcare provider are all good resources. Their support and, if necessary, medical treatment can help you get through this.
Remember, feeling blue is nothing to be ashamed of and it doesn't mean that you aren't a good mom. Many new moms experience the baby blues.
If any of the symptom descriptions in the assessment apply to you and your symptoms have lasted for more than two weeks, you may have postpartum depression. You should talk to your doctor right away. He or she can diagnose and treat the problem. You should also seek support from friends and family. Postpartum depression is nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, it's the most common complication among women who have just had a baby, according to the March of Dimes.
Getting help now can help protect both your health and your baby's health.