Understanding Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders
BEYOND THE “BABY BLUES” AND POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION
While approximately 70 to 80 percent of parents encounter the “baby blues” after giving birth, around 15 to 20 percent experience perinatal mood and anxiety disorders (PMADs).
The “baby blues” are quite common and arise as a result of hormonal shifts that occur after childbearing compounded with other stressors such as sleep deprivation, postpartum recovery, and changing roles and responsibilities related to such a significant life adjustment. Symptoms of the “baby blues” typically fade within a few weeks following childbirth.
On the other hand, PMADs can emerge at any time during the prenatal period, which extends from pregnancy through one year postpartum. Those who develop PMADs experience more severe symptoms of anxiety, depression, and other mental health struggles that last longer than the “baby blues” and are not limited to postpartum depression. PMADs often interfere with one’s ability to function as well as care for self and baby with pride and confidence.
A CLOSER LOOK AT PMADS
PMADs are the most common complication of pregnancy and childbirth and include an array of mental health conditions that can arise during the prenatal period such as anxiety, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and psychosis, among others.
While there is no known cause for one to develop a PMAD, risk factors for PMADs include:
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF COMMON PMADS
You may be struggling with a PMAD if you’re experiencing the following symptoms during pregnancy or within the first year postpartum:
If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms and are concerned that you are struggling with a PMAD, please reach out for support. You are not alone and do not need to suffer in silence. Thrive offers comprehensive and compassionate care through our “It Takes A Village” perinatal program and outpatient services.
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