Back to blog

6 Unexpected Signs That Could Be Postpartum Depression

6 Unexpected Signs That Could Be Postpartum Depression

Guest Post by Katy Fleming, MA, LPC, BSN, RN

When you imagine postpartum depression, what comes to mind? Long nights filled with tears and exhaustion or a first-time mother struggling to keep up with a newborn baby. 

In reality, postpartum depression (PPD) looks different for each person. Many symptoms are chalked up as part of the postnatal process while women silently suffer.

Combat postpartum depression by increasing your understanding of the potential signs and symptoms.

6 Unexpected Signs That Could Be Postpartum Depression

6 Unexpected Signs That Could Be Postpartum Depression 

Many common themes are found within postpartum depression such as deep sadness and despair. Some symptoms of this debilitating disorder are discussed less often and may surprise you. 

The road to recovery starts with awareness. Check out these signs and symptoms that you may not realize are associated with postpartum depression.  

  1. Brain Fog

Commonly chalked up as “pregnancy brain” or “baby brain,” brain fog is often overlooked as a typical part of parenthood. 

Difficulty concentrating, forgetfulness, and misplacing items are potential signs of postpartum depression.

The exact cause for this cloudy muddled feeling isn’t known, but medical professionals point to a mix of changing hormones, poor sleep, and stress.

2. Physical Ailment

Most women associate PPD with deep sadness and other emotional symptoms. Yes, hopelessness is often an accurate description, but the mind and body are closely interconnected. 

Our mental well-being greatly impacts physical health and vice versa. For example, high stress contributes to slowing down wound healing. 

After the physically demanding process of pregnancy and childbirth, both your mind and body are going through an intense recuperation. Check out these physical ailments experienced by women experiencing postpartum depression: 

  • Aches + pains 
  • Headaches 
  • Stomach issues

If you’re experiencing physical symptoms that aren’t subsiding, start a conversation with your doctor and look out for other signs of PPD.

Unexpected Signs That Could Be Postpartum Depression

3. Intrusive Thoughts

For some moms, the overwhelmed feelings turn into unwanted scary thoughts. Despite loving your little one, thoughts or images of hurting your baby or yourself may creep up. 

Fueled by stress, anxiety, or even past trauma, all the “what-if this happens” fear and self-doubt can quickly turn into debilitating dread.

It’s important to remember that these are symptoms of PPD and not a reflection of your parenting. These intrusive thoughts do not define who you are as a mother. 

Guilt may prevent some women struggling with these negative thoughts from seeking help. Start a conversation with a trusted friend and get the help that you deserve.

Therapy, medication, and other forms of treatment are utilized to provide relief from these symptoms. Seeking help is a sign of strength and resiliency.

4. Anger + Irritability 

Those overbearing feelings of hopelessness, anxiety, or sadness are sometimes portrayed as anger. 

If you’re finding yourself building up rage or frequently irritated with your family, assess if you’re experiencing any other symptoms of postpartum depression or anxiety. 

Anger is typically a secondary emotion meaning that it’s fueled by other vulnerable emotions. There’s so much more going on deep within ourselves as we unconsciously attempt to cope with fits of rage. 

Consider talking to a licensed therapist, joining a support group, or starting a journal to express your feelings and build support.

5. Disconnect

Society portrays feelings of fireworks when that new bundle of joy enters your life. If you find yourself feeling disconnected from your baby, family, or friends, PPD is a probable culprit. 

Some mommas struggle to bond with their newborn and may even feel as if it’s someone else’s child.

These empty, numb feelings dissipate with effective treatment for postpartum depression.

6Delayed Symptoms 

Did feelings of sadness or overbearing anxiety show up after the initial 12 weeks of postpartum recovery? Don’t eliminate the possibility of PPD. 

Symptoms of postpartum depression can start up to a year after delivery. No matter how far along you are in the postpartum recovery timeline, seek help if you’re not feeling like yourself.

Postpartum Depression

Looking for more postpartum tips? You’ll love these: 

  • Everything To Know About C-Section Recovery And Aftercare
  • 10 Postpartum Products You Never Knew You Needed
  • Postpartum Tips To Help You Through The 4th Trimester
  • 5 Newborn Tips For Your First Week Home With A Newborn
  • What Parents Need To Know About Preemies And Respiratory Issues

    If you find yourself losing interest in fun activities, struggling with hopelessness, experiencing sadness, or other symptoms related to PPD, reach out to your doctor or a licensed therapist.

    You are not alone. Alongside trusted friends, support groups, and trained professionals, healing is possible. Some symptoms of PPD may surprise you, but there is hope.

    As a licensed counselor and registered nurse, Katy approaches freelance writing with years of experience and a unique perspective. Alongside her partner, Katy loves to travel the world and embrace other cultures from volcanoes in Iceland to villages in India. 

    A clear nose means better sleep.

    The Nozebot is a battery-powered suction device designed to clear nasal congestion in babies and children.

    Buy now

    Sign up for our newsletter

    Enter your email to receive special updates and offers from Dr. Noze Best.