The following information has been accessed from the Perinatal Anxiety and Depression Australia (PANDA) website to present key changes to mood, behaviour and relationships that can be a sign that you may be experiencing Postnatal Depression and/or Anxiety. You may notice that some of these signs and symptoms can be typical for the postpartum period, however it is important to note if you or a loved one are experiencing them and to talk to your GP. It is about being mindful of when these difficulties are interfering with your day to day functioning and causing ongoing concerns.

It can feel overwhelming reading all the information about signs and symptoms of Perinatal Anxiety, Depression and Postpartum Rage however it is important to know that there are resources available online to help you further understand your personal experiences and assist in answering any questions you may have about your experiences as mum, dad, non-birth parent or guardian. The PANDA website is a fantastic resource for this (


Postnatal Depression

Changes in mood:

  • Feeling sad, low, hopeless, frequent crying
  • Difficulty with focus, concentration or memory, ‘brain fog’
  • Feeling disconnected from your baby and loved ones
  • Abrupt mood swings
  • Angry, frustrated, easily irritated
  • Feeling worthless, ashamed, critical self-talk
  • Feeling isolated and lonely even around others
  • Thoughts of death or suicide

Changes in behaviour:

  • Lacking energy or motivation
  • Persistent fatigue
  • Disrupted sleep patterns
  • Appetite changes
  • Changes to libido
  • Engaging in risk-taking behaviour (e.g. substance use, overspending)
  • Urges to self harm

Changes in relationships:

  • Withdrawing from friends and family
  • Increased arguments with loved ones
  • Little or not interest in daily activities that usually bring joy (time with baby, partner or friends, exercise, career, study or hobbies)


Postnatal Anxiety

Changes in mood:

  • Persistent generalised worry, often focused on the health or wellbeing of your baby
  • Feeling nervous, on edge, stressed, panicky
  • Abrupt mood swings, easily irritated
  • Feelings of dread or impending doom
  • Excessive fears about life with your baby and your identity as a parent
  • Racing thoughts, thinking about all the ‘what if’s’ (catastrophising)
  • Developing obsessive or compulsive thoughts
  • Intrusive thoughts
  • Feeling isolated, scared and lonely even around loved ones 

Changes in behaviour:

  • Panic attacks (racing heart, chest pain, breathless, shaking, feeling like passing out)
  • Easily startled, feeling scared for no reason
  • Disrupted sleep patterns
  • Elevated breathing, heartrate, muscle tension
  • Vertigo: feeling dizzy, faint, trembly
  • Appetite changes
  • Changes to libido
  • Urges to self-harm
  • Developing obsessive or compulsive behaviours (eg. excessive checking of baby’s breathing as they sleep, cleaning, research related to infant health/other concerns)

Changes in relationships:

  • Avoiding people or places that might trigger anxiety or a panic attack
  • Worry about telling your postnatal care team what’s happening
  • Withdrawing from friends and family
  • Increased arguments with loved ones


Understanding your thoughts and feelings

This weblink provides information regarding coping with strong emotions, signs and symptoms of perinatal anxiety and depression, and how to call the PANDA helpline. You can also access mental health checklists as expectant mums and dads, new mums and dads, non-birth parents, partners and carers. These checklists assist to see if what you or a loved one are experiencing could be reason to seek help from health professionals.


Support for new parents

This weblink is a very helpful resource tool. You are able to select what type of information or support you are looking for and PANDA provides information for this from a range of sources including fact sheets, articles, stories and links to other websites.

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