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I’m a New Mother – Why Am I Feeling Sad When I Should Be Happy?

It is usual for women to experience minor mood disturbances or more after giving birth.

Between a half and two-thirds of women who have just given birth to a child suffer from minor mood disturbances, with symptoms usually reaching their peak around three to four days after giving birth. These self-limiting symptoms include irritability, mood fluctuations, crying episodes and typically resolve within a few days. 

However, some women experience more serious depressive symptoms, with the severity reaching a peak a few weeks after giving birth. Women with a history of depression are particularly susceptible to this, as are women with limited social support. Tiredness, irritability, and anxiety symptoms are usually more prominent. Many clinics routinely screen new mothers with the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale to detect such mood problems, given that this condition often goes unnoticed.

Information provided by:

Dr Keith Hariman headshot

Dr Keith Hariman

Specialist in Psychiatry, OT&P Healthcare

Please note that all medical articles featured on our website have been reviewed by qualified healthcare doctors. The articles are for general information only and are not medical opinions nor should the contents be used to replace the need for a personal consultation with a qualified medical professional on the reader's medical condition.

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