Center for Perinatal and Infant Mental Health

A perinatal or postpartum mood disorder can take many forms, and can vary widely in symptoms and severity. Symptoms can begin any time during or after pregnancy — even months after giving birth and may include:

  • Feeling depressed or sad
  • Anxiety
  • Feeling overwhelmed, numb or drained
  • Crying, or not being able to cry
  • Anxiety and panic attacks
  • Feeling extremely tired or exhausted
  • Loss of interest in enjoyable activities or life in general
  • Persistent guilt or self-doubt
  • Feeling helpless or hopeless
  • Eating too much or not enough
  • Mood swings
  • Fear of being alone with or separated from the baby
  • Problems making simple decisions or focusing
  • Intrusive thoughts or fears of harming the baby
  • Obsessive-compulsive thoughts or behaviors

Perinatal mood disorders can affect any woman before or after giving birth. You may have signs of more than one mood disorder. We can also help if you are or are planning to become pregnant and you already have a mental health history, including:

  • Major depression
  • General anxiety disorder (GAD)
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Bipolar disorder (also called manic depression or manic-depressive disorder)
  • Schizophrenia or any other form of psychosis