4 Types of Postpartum Depression and How to Get Help

June 18, 2015

Dear Friends,

I experienced a form of baby blues and postpartum depression (PPD) after both my babies, but especially after my second.


I didn’t realize what was happening at first. I felt a lot of anxiety and fear, but I wasn’t sure if it really fit the definition of PPD.

Was I just “bluesy” and experiencing a normal period of hormonal wackiness that would soon pass? Was I “sad enough” to be depressed? And what about all this anxiety? Where did the fear and panic attacks fit in?

I disliked the terms “baby blues” and PPD because I was really happy to have had a baby. If I admitted to feeling sad. anxious, and fearful, would people think that I wasn’t thankful for my babies? That I wasn’t happy to be a mother? Weren’t women with PPD supposed to be feeling disconnected from their children? That did not apply to me.



If only I had the information about postpartum depression that I am sharing with you below! When Leigh Ellen Magness, therapist at Growth Therapy in Athens, shared this with me, light bulbs and fireworks went off. It would have been immensely helpful years ago if I had known these definitions and distinctions between different types of PPD, as well as the reassurance that my feelings had nothing to do with whether or not I was happy to have a baby.

I immediately recognized my postpartum self in the description of Postpartum Anxiety. (see below!)

Mamas, if you are experiencing any symptoms of baby blues or PPD (and even if you’re not, but you want to join a supportive group of mamas), please come to our FREE monthly support group led by Leigh Ellen Magness of Growth TherapyIt meets every THIRD Thursday of the month from 12:30 – 1:30 pm in the reBlossom living room.



This is a nurturing, supportive space where you can talk about the emotions and physical changes involved in having a child. Being a mama is hard! We’re here to help!


P.S. Did you know that 10 – 20% women suffer from prenatal depression, or depression/anxiety during pregnancy? And even if you don’t experience PPD after your baby is born, some women experience symptoms after weaning a child from breastfeeding. So truly, everyone is welcome to our support group, whether you are an expecting, new mama, or experienced mama!




Do I Have Postpartum Depression?
information compiled by Leigh Ellen Magness, LCSW, R-PT

1. Baby Blues

  • 50-80% of moms experience baby blues. 

  • includes feelings of sadness, anxiety, or mood swings

  • may include crying spells, loss of appetite, changes in sleep patterns

  • will likely improve within days or weeks

  • has nothing to do with whether or not you’re happy to have a baby :)

2. Postpartum Depression

  • 13-20% of moms experience PPD.

  • includes feelings of sadness, depression, hopelessness

  • may include social isolation, little interest or motivation in doing things

  • lasts longer than 3 weeks, and can begin anytime up until one year postpartum

  • could include thoughts of hurting self or baby

  • has nothing to do with whether or not you’re happy to have a baby :)

3. Postpartum Anxiety

  • about 10% of moms experience PPA

  • includes excessive worry or irrational fears about baby, parenting abilities, returning to work, etc, but may also be general feelings of anxiety

  • may include physical symptoms such as nausea, sweatiness, insomnia, and rapid heartbeat

  • has nothing to do with whether or not you’re happy to have a baby :)

4. Postpartum Psychosis

  • usually begins within the first two weeks after delivery

  • may include rapid mood swings, hallucinations, thoughts or attempts to hurt self or baby, and not having any interest in the baby

  • has nothing to do with whether or not you’re happy to have a baby :)


Risk Factors

  • personal history of depression, anxiety or other mental illness

  • family history of depression or other mental illness

  • lack of supportive network

  • anxiety or negative feelings about the pregnancy

  • problems with previous pregnancy

  • other tense or stressful situations


Where to Get Help

Women’s Health

Postpartum Support International

March of Dimes


Postpartum Progress

Momastery Blog (not PPD related, but just good)

Down Came The Rain by Brooke Shields


Whoa! Mama Support Group for Bluesy Mamas and Not-So-Bluesy Ones Too — reBlossom’s FREE support group that meets every THIRD Thursday of the month from 12:30 – 1:30 PM // Facilitated by Leigh Ellen Magness, LCSW, R-PT, of growththerapy.net

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