Perinatal Mood & Anxiety Disorders are very common affecting 1 in 5 birthing people every year and can occur any time during pregnancy or up to the first year postpartum. When left untreated they can have a lifelong impact on both the parent and child. PMAD’s are part of a full spectrum of mental illness including:
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD):
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
These conditions are typically triggered by the rapid hormone changes that occur after childbirth, but they are more likely to occur in those who have a history of mood disorders, a genetic or family history of these disorders, or a history of substance abuse or addiction. Further stresses from parenthood, including sleep deprivation, worry about the infant, feeling overwhelmed, or failing to meet personal expectations can contribute to worsening perinatal mood disorder symptoms. In addition to environmental stresses from parenting and biological factors, a lack of social support and cultural expectations around motherhood and fatherhood can also contribute to symptoms getting worse if they are not addresse
The word treatment can feel overwhelming but it's important to know that it looks different for everyone, yet it does usually require professional support. Treatment plans may include:
The decision to start medication can be intimidating but rest assured there are many safe medications that can provide relief while breastfeeding. Many new parents focus solely on the potential side effects of medication while not realizing the side effects of untreated Perinatal Mood & Anxiety Disorders on the development of their child and the health of their family relationships. It’s important to make an informed choice that feels best for you. You deserve to feel healthy! If you have questions it's best to speak with your care provider about options and we are here to help if you need support.
Most new mothers/birthing people – experts estimate about 80% — experience mood swings and weepiness during the first 2-3 weeks after giving birth. One minute you feel happy, the next minute you may start to cry. You may feel sad, have a hard time concentrating, lose your appetite or find that you can’t sleep well even when the baby is asleep. New mothers/birthing people who are experiencing these symptoms have what is known as the “baby blues”. The baby blues usually start about 3 to 4 days after delivery, resolving within 2-3 weeks,are considered a normal adjustment period and resolve without any medical assistance. However, some people have more severe symptoms or symptoms that last longer than a few days. This would suggest an underlying Perinatal Mood & Anxiety Disorder and increased support needed.
Having a strong support system is a vital piece to the recovery process. Often times support people are unsure how to help their partner who is struggling but there are many ways to provider support such as:
No. The support provided at the Regina Perinatal Health Network is FREE of charge thanks to the generous support of our donors. If you would like more information on how we can help, contact us today and we can chat more about your specific needs.