Postpartum Depression

Baby Blues

  • Affects 80 percent of new mothers/birthing parents
  • Occurs between the third day and second or third week postpartum
  • Is considered NORMAL
  • Mild symptoms. Lasts 1-2 weeks and goes away on its own
  • Indicators: crying for no reason; feelings of dependency, impatience, irritability, anxiety; temporary mild depression

Postpartum Depression

  • Affects 15- 20 percent of new mothers/ birthing parents
  • Occurs anytime up to a year postpartum
  • Lasts for at least two weeks
  • It is critical that family members seek help for their loved one.
  • Indicators: physical complaints without physical cause; changes in appetite or weight; sleeping too much or too little; l loss of interest in activities; irritability or short temper; feelings of anxiety, worthlessness, guilt, anger, sadness, hopelessness, overwhelmed; difficulty in concentrating; extreme worry about the baby’s and/or their own health; recurring thoughts of death or suicidal ideation.

Postpartum Onset Anxiety/Panic Disorders

  • Affects 10 percent of new mothers/birthing parents
  • Indicators: panic attacks (sudden episodes of extreme anxiety or fear, accompanied by accelerated breathing and heart rate, constriction in chest and throat, chest pain); nausea, hot or cold flashes, trembling; fear of losing control, of going crazy, of dying

Postpartum Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

  • Affects 3-5 percent of new mothers/birthing parents
  • Often occurs with postpartum depression
  • Mother is not at risk of actually harming baby, except by neglect or avoidance based on fear of causing harm
  • Indicators: repetitive, intrusive thoughts and violent images of harming baby; awareness that thoughts are irrational, .with a sense of horror and shame about them; hyper-vigilance in protecting baby; repetitive behaviors such as counting, checking, frequent hand-washing, obsessive neatness

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

  • Affects 1-3 percent of new mothers/birthing parents
  • Occurs following childbirth, especially in women who experienced ad history of childhood abuse and/or had a traumatic childbirth experience
  • Indicators: extreme anxiety; persistent re-experiencing of traumatic events; avoidance of stimuli associated with the trauma; numbness; hyper-arousal, insomnia, jumpiness and heightened startle response; nightmares

Postpartum Psychosis

  • Affects 0.1-0.2 percent of new mothers/birthing parents
  • Occurs usually in the first week postpartum, with sudden onset
  • Risk of suicide and/or infanticide
  • Indicators: rapid speech; visual or auditory hallucinations, delusions, delirium, mania, extreme agitation, inability to sleep, irrational speech or paranoia.

Postpartum Depression in Men

Common signs of postpartum depression and anxiety in men are:

  • Increased anger and conflict with others
  • Increased use of alcohol or prescription/street drugs
  • Frustration or irritability
  • Violent behavior
  • Significant weight gain or loss
  • Isolation from family and friends
  • Being easily stressed
  • Impulsiveness or risk-taking (this kind of behavior can include reckless driving or extramarital affairs)
  • Feeling discouraged; cynicism
  • Increase in complaints about physical problems, like headaches, digestion problems or pain
  • Problems with concentration or motivation
  • Loss of interest in work, hobbies and/or sex
  • Working constantly
  • Concerns about productivity and functioning at work or school
  • Fatigue
  • Feeling sad or crying for no reason
  • Conflict between how you feel you should be as a man and how you are
  • Thoughts of suicide or death

Crisis Resources

National Suicide Prevention Line

Allegheny County Crisis Line

Resolve Crisis Services (free to all residents of Allegheny County)

AHN Women’s Behavioral Health

412-578-4030 / Alexis Joy D’Achille Center for Perinatal Mental Health
West Penn Hospital
4800 Friendship Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15224

UPMC Resources

Magee Women’s Behavioral Health

These services are only open to Magee patients, because of small staff.  It’s best to be referred by a Magee staff member. Pregnancy and 1 year postpartum for individual therapy and psych medication.

Bellefield Outpatient

Located at 100 N. Bellefield Ave. Pittsburgh, PA 15215 (Oakland). Self-referral acceptable when requesting general evaluation/individual therapy through WPIC (Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic of UPMC). Explain your situation and ask for the first available appointment. Intensive outpatient, partial hospitalization and individual therapy/evaluation services are available.

Physician Consultation

Psychiatrists with perinatal expertise are available to consult with PCP, OC, midwives, etc. regarding medications in the perinatal period. Prescribing professionals may contact these psychiatrists by email (through the UPMC Health System) to set up a time to discuss individual patient situations.
Please call us for a referral.

Support Groups

Dark Side of Motherhood

Post Traumatic Birth Group Therapy

Alexis Joy Foundation

Pittsburgh-based organization educating on when and how to get help

Postpartum Pittsburgh

Mental Health resources for pregnant and postpartum women

Baby Steps Postpartum Depression Support Group

A virtual group hosted by St. Clair Hospital.

Support for Dads

Once a month Dr. Singley hosts an hour-long call-in forum where men can get support from an expert and from one another about adjusting to and dealing with the pressures of parenthood.


Jodie Hnatkovich, LPC, PMH-C, CPLC

[email protected]

Emily Weisser, LPC, NCC

301 Ohio River Boulevard, Suite 304
Sewickley, PA 15143
[email protected]

Katherine Biggs, MSCP, PMH-C

12300 Perry Hwy, Suite 313
Wexford, PA, 15090
[email protected]

Amy Lewis, LCSW

Landmarks Building, Suite 230
100 Station Square Drive
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15219
[email protected]

Naomi Greenberg, LCSW

LGBTQ+ affirming
801 North Negley Avenue
Suite 7
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15206

Johanna Lux, MSW, LCSW

6315 Forbes Avenue
L-120 E
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15217

Luisa Bonavita, LCSW

1370 Old Freeport Road
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 1523
[email protected]

Beth Worek, LMFT

Specializing in maternal mental health

603 McKnight Park Dr.
Pittsburgh, PA 15237
[email protected]