Postpartum Mood Disorders


Many parents experience a roller coaster of emotions after having a baby, from joy and elation to worry and sadness. Mix big feelings with limited sleep and meeting the needs of a new baby, and new parenthood can feel overwhelming at times.

Having a baby is a life-changing experience, and around 85% of women experience some kind of mood disturbance postpartum.[1]  Despite being so common, postpartum mood disturbances are not always talked about, leaving some people to feel alone and wondering if they are good enough parents. Talking openly about your postpartum experiences with others going through the same thing can combat feelings of isolation and shame. Going to a La Leche League meeting is a great place to find other new parents to share experiences with.

Sometimes the emotional changes that come after a new baby become postpartum mood disorders. Baby blues are generally short lived and go away on their own.[2]  For some people, however, these mood changes do not go away on their own. Postpartum depression, postpartum anxiety, and postpartum psychosis are treatable conditions and help is available. You do not need to deal with them on your own. If you are worried about your mood, please speak to your healthcare provider.

There are organizations including Postpartum Support International which provide support for, and information on, postpartum mental health. Your city, county, and state likely have additional resources which can be found through an online search. If you are feeling suicidal or feel that you may harm your child, please call the suicide prevention hotline at 1-800-273-8255.

Read more about The Role of Breastfeeding in Protecting Mothers’ Mental Health by Kathleen Kendall-Tackett, PhD, IBCLC, FAPA.

Many medications including some antidepressants are compatible with breastfeeding. Contact a Leader or InfantRisk for more information.

My Story of Breastfeeding and Postpartum Depression, LLL USA blog

My emotions postpartum are all out of whack, LLL USA Facebook

Why is Mothering Lonely When We are Never Alone?, LLL USA blog

“I’m Failing at This!”, LLL USA blog