When a baby is born, people stop acting like themselves. Gruff grown-ups make goofy faces at infants. Nostalgic moms share their birthing experiences with pregnant strangers. Shy kids clamber onto strollers of babies they don’t know, just to coo at newborns.

In some cases, emotions brought up during this motherhood transition can become intense and get in the way of day-to-day functioning, much more severe than the “baby blues.” There are biological factors such as genetics and hormonal changes, as well as psychological factors and social stressors that can impact mood during and after pregnancy.

Patricia De Marco Centeno is a psychiatrist and medical director, Maternal Mental Health Program, Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian, Newport Beach, CA.