What Is Postpartum Euphoria?

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These days, the stigma surrounding postpartum mood disorders is receding—and that’s a good thing. We talk more openly about the fact that so many of us experience mood disturbances and disorders following childbirth, which means that we are more likely to get help and proper treatment.

Still, there’s more work to be done in our understanding and education when it comes to postpartum mood disorders. For example, so much of postpartum mental health focuses on postpartum depression and anxiety. And while those conditions are prevalent—10-15% of postpartum parents experience depression and anxiety—they aren’t the only conditions common in the postpartum period.

For example, some of us experience exaggerated happiness, boundless energy, sleeplessness, and feelings of invincibility after birth. We may assume that these symptoms are positive and mean we are not experiencing a postpartum mood disorder. But while these symptoms may look harmless on the surface—and sometimes continue to remain harmless—they may be a sign of postpartum euphoria or postpartum hypomania.

What Is Postpartum Euphoria? 

Simply put, postpartum euphoria, which is often referred to as postpartum hypomania or "the baby pinks," describes symptoms of extreme euphoria or hypomania in the days and weeks following childbirth.

Postpartum euphoria affects about 1 in 10 parents after birth, according to Neuropsychiatry. Meanwhile, the Archives of Women’s Mental Health reports that symptoms of postpartum euphoria are common in parents who have given birth, affecting anywhere between 9.6-49.1% of birthing parents. Among parents who have been referred to clinics for the treatment of postpartum mood disorders, 12 to 30% exhibit signs of hypomania or mania.

People who experience postpartum euphoria may appear to be doing well but that is not always the case. Even though symptoms of postpartum euphoria—like being energized or intensely happy—may be viewed as a positive thing, these symptoms still signal a mood disorder that needs to be addressed.

Symptoms of Postpartum Euphoria

Postpartum euphoria generally feels good to the person who is experiencing it, at least at first. But if symptoms worsen or aren't treated, postpartum euphoria can result in feelings of anxiety, confusion, and exhaustion. Untreated postpartum euphoria also can lead to mental health conditions such as postpartum depression, or in rare cases, postpartum psychosis.

Postpartum euphoria is characterized by intense happiness, tons of energy, and a feeling of invincibility. Everyone is different in terms of how they experience postpartum euphoria, but symptoms may include:

  • Experiencing intense bursts of energy
  • Feeling extremely happy
  • Feeling productive and focused
  • Needing less sleep
  • Being very chatty, almost like you can’t stop talking
  • Feeling superhuman, like you can do anything
  • Feeling more sexual, creative, and strong
  • Making reckless decisions like going on a spending spree
  • Experiencing racing thoughts and trouble concentrating
  • Feeling an inflated sense of self or importance

If you or a loved one are experiencing any of these symptoms, contact your healthcare provider. If these symptoms are making it difficult for you to care for yourself or your baby, seek immediate medical assistance.

Risks Associated With Postpartum Euphoria

Mild instances of postpartum euphoria or postpartum hypomania may not be a problem. For example, if you experience mood swings—including feelings of euphoria—in the first two weeks after giving birth, you may simply be experiencing the “baby blues,” which are characterized by intense mood swings, including extreme, fluctuating feelings of happiness and sadness.

The “baby blues” are something almost everyone experiences after having a baby, and are associated with hormonal shifts in the postpartum period. However, the intense mood swings associated with the “baby blues” should dissolve after the first two weeks postpartum. If these mood swings last beyond the first two weeks after giving birth, you may be experiencing something more serious than the "baby blues."

If you are experiencing intense moods—especially if they are interfering with your ability to care for yourself or your baby—you may be experiencing a postpartum mood disorder.

Postpartum Euphoria and Postpartum Depression

Part of the reason postpartum euphoria should be taken seriously is its connection to postpartum depression. According to Jessica Heron and Femi Oyebode, writing for Neuropsychiatry, experiencing postpartum euphoria increases your risk of postpartum depression.

The researchers estimate that “a quarter to a fifth of women who develop PND [postnatal depression] experience antecedent hypomania.” In other words, experiencing postpartum euphoria or hypomania after giving birth may mean you will be more likely to experience postpartum depression down the road.

Heron and Oyebode explain that understanding the link between postpartum euphoria and postpartum depression should impact the care that postpartum parents receive. So many of us think of postpartum depression as a "low mood" disorder, explain Heron and Oyebode, but that's not a complete picture.

If healthcare providers only look for classic signs of depression, and not for postpartum euphoria symptoms, some cases of postpartum depression might be missed. Being able to identify signs of postpartum euphoria can help providers identify parents who might be at risk for postpartum depression, say Heron and Oyebode.

Postpartum Euphoria and Postpartum Psychosis

Postpartum psychosis is rare, affecting 1 or 2 out of every 1000 parents following childbirth. However, euphoria and hypomania are very common symptoms of this disorder, which is one of the main reasons postpartum euphoria should be taken seriously and investigated, according to Heron and Oyebode. Anyone with a history of bipolar disorder or postpartum psychosis is particularly at risk for developing mood issues.

Other symptoms of postpartum psychosis include confusion, restlessness, and hallucinations. The “highs” of postpartum psychosis are mixed with “lows;" shifting from one extreme to another is a hallmark of the disorder. While uncommon, postpartum psychosis is considered a medical emergency, and people who are suspected to be experiencing it should receive psychiatric care promptly.

Treatment for Postpartum Euphoria

Clinicians are still learning more about postpartum euphoria and the best way to treat it. While it’s clear that many people experience symptoms of hypomania following childbirth, more research needs to be done on how those symptoms relate to other postpartum mood disorders.

Still, if you are experiencing any of the symptoms of postpartum euphoria—or if your loved one seems to be experiencing these symptoms—connecting with a healthcare provider is important.

Your provider can discuss your particular situation, including how the symptoms are presenting in your situation, and whether they may be indicative of a postpartum mood disorder that needs treatment. These days, there are many ways to treat postpartum mood disorders, including therapy (cognitive-behavioral therapy and interpersonal therapy have shown to be helpful, for example) and psychiatric medications.

Your provider will also likely check your overall health and do blood work to rule out hormonal imbalances, thyroid dysfunctions, or other medical issues that could be causing your symptoms. Seeking treatment for a postpartum mood disorder can be scary at first, but there are so many resources out there to help you, and you deserve to feel better and more like yourself.

A Word from Verywell 

Having a baby is a huge adjustment, and it’s common for your moods and emotions to be all over the place! After all, your whole life is probably looking quite a bit different than it was before you welcomed your little one.

Sometimes it can be tough to tell if what you are experiencing is the normal stress of having a baby, or something more serious, like a postpartum mood disorder. Part of what’s so sneaky about postpartum euphoria is that you may actually be feeling fantastic and full of energy. “How could this be a problem?” you might be thinking.

However, anytime you are experiencing a mood that is extreme or unusual for you—and anytime that mood is making you less able to take care of yourself or your baby—you should bring this up with your healthcare provider. They will be able to help you understand what is going on with you, and whether care is needed. Remember, too, that there is no shame in seeking help: postpartum mood disorders are common and treatable.

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  1. MGH Center for Women’s Mental Health. Postpartum psychiatric disorders. Updated May 6, 2021.

  2. Heron J, Oyebode F. Postpartum hypomania: future perspective. Neuropsychiatry. 2011;1(1):55–60.

  3. Sharma V, Singh P, Baczynski C, Khan M. A closer look at the nosological status of the highs (hypomanic symptoms) in the postpartum period. Archives of Women’s Mental Health. 2021;24(1):55-62. doi:10.1007/s00737-020-01023-1