Perinatal Mood Disorders - Mental Health Before & After Baby
Written by Ashley King, LM, CPM
Ashley King is a Nationally Certified Professional Midwife (CPM), in New Braunfels, TX. Ashley has been a midwife at Joyful Beginnings, President for the San Antonio Area Midwives Association and a board member with the Association of TX Midwives.
Review more resources from the Joyful-Beginnings here.
What is PMAD & Why Does It Matter?
PMAD stands for Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders, which is an umbrella term for groups of symptoms that can be experienced during pregnancy and/or postpartum. PMADs can occur at any time in the perinatal period and can also affect fathers, same-sex partners and adoptive parents as well. Struggling with a PMAD isn't just about Postpartum Depression; PMADs can also manifest as Prenatal Depression, Anxiety, OCD, PTSD and Psychosis as well. Although as many as 1 in 7 women will be diagnosed with a Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorder, they are highly treatable!
Every new parent deserves to be feeling well and living their best, and we want to make sure that no one is suffering in silence! If you think you or a loved one may be struggling with symptoms of anxiety, depression, OCD, PTSD or Psychosis during your pregnancy or after birth - please reach out to your healthcare provider or one of the many free resources listed below!
You are not alone. You are not to blame. And with help, you will be well.
A Word About “Baby Blues”
“ Baby Blues" is used to describe feelings of sadness, weepiness or moodiness after the birth of baby.
It is estimated that 80% of women will experience baby blues in the first few days after delivery. Unlike Postpartum Depression, Baby Blues last no more than 2 weeks, requires no medical treatment and will resolve on its own. If your symptoms persist or interfere with daily life, seeking help is important.
- History of depression, anxiety, OCD or other mental illness
- Thyroid imbalance, diabetes or other hormone disorders
- Pregnancy or delivery complications, infertility, miscarriage or infant loss
- Lack of support from family or friends
- History of abuse or other trauma
- Unwanted or unplanned pregnancy
- Financial stress or poverty
- Abrupt discontinuation of breastfeeding
- feelings of guilt, shame or hopelessness
- feelings of anger, rage, irritability, scary or unwanted thoughts
- disturbance of sleep and appetite
- crying, sadness, constant worry or racing thoughts
- lack of interest in the baby or difficulty bonding
- loss of interest, joy or pleasure in things you used to enjoy
- Postpartum Support International (PSI) - Offers information, support and resources to those struggling with mental health during pregnancy or postpartum. Has a helpline (above), and local Support Coordinators who help you find trained resources.
- PSI Specialized Coordinators - provide support for specific roles, pregnancy-related postpartum conditions/experiences and other risk factors related to mental health.
- The Symptoms of Postpartum Depression & Anxiety (in Plain Mama English)
- 6 Surprising Symptoms of Postpartum Depression & Anxiety
- FAQ About Postpartum Depression & Related Illnesses
- The Emily Effect: Providing Resources to Families & Support for Women Suffering from Perinatal Mood Disorders
- Natural Approaches to Depression in Pregnancy
- Postpartum Support International (PSI):
- 1-800-944-4773 (text or call)
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline:
- Crisis Text Hotline: Text HOME to 741741 to instantly text with a trained Crisis Counselor