What Every Woman Should Know About Maternal Mental Health

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  • What Is Substance Abuse Treatment and How Does It Work? A Booklet for Children and Their Families This program was developed for family members of those who suffer from alcoholism or drug addiction difficulties. Questions regarding substance abuse, including its symptoms, different forms of therapy, and rehabilitation are addressed in this section. This publication addresses the issues of children whose parents have drug misuse or addiction disorders. Addiction to alcohol and drugs may occur in even the most loving of families. This book describes how alcohol and drug addiction have an impact on the entire family. He describes the process of drug and alcohol addiction therapy, how family interventions may be a first step toward recovery, and how to assist children in homes afflicted by alcoholism and drug misuse. It’s Not Your Fault (National Association of Colleges and Employers) (PDF | 12 KB) Assures kids who have parents who misuse alcohol or drugs that “It’s not your fault!” and that they are not alone in their struggles with substance addiction. A resource list is provided, which encourages kids to seek emotional assistance from other adults, school counselors, and youth support organizations such as Alateen, among other places. It Hurts So Much: It Doesn’t Have to Be This Way The organization provides information on alcohol and drug addiction to youngsters whose parents or friends’ parents may be struggling with substance misuse issues. The author encourages young people to look out for one another by talking about their problems and joining support organizations such as Alateen. When There Has Been an Attempt: A Guide to Taking Care of a Family Member Once you have received treatment in the emergency department, Aids family members in dealing with the aftermath of a relative’s suicide attempt by providing information and resources. Provides an overview of the emergency department treatment procedure, a list of questions to ask regarding follow-up care, and information on how to limit risk and maintain safety while at home. Family therapy can be beneficial for people who are recovering from mental illness or substance abuse. This course examines the function of family therapy in the treatment of mental illness and substance misuse. A family therapy session is described in detail, along with the people that conduct them. It also includes information on the usefulness of family therapy in the rehabilitation process. Please visit the SAMHSA Store for further resources.

What Every Woman Should Know About Maternal Mental Health

Subscribe to Outside+ now to get unique access to all of our content, including sequences, instructor tips, video lessons, and much more. You’re interested in learning more about maternal mental health. Meet Anusha Wijeyakumar, wellness consultant at Hoag Hospital and author of the book Meditation With Intention, and YJ brand director Tracy Middleton on May 19 at 12 p.m. eastern time for an interactive discussion on mindfulness and intention setting (9 a.m. PST). This live and on-demand chat is only available to subscribers.

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I have learned the hard way about the need of prioritizing one’s own mental health.

Fortunately, there is assistance available for all women, and yoga, mindfulness, and meditation are particularly effective tools in this regard.

What is Maternal Mental Health?

Those that occur during the perinatal period are classed as maternal mental health problems. These include depression, anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, and postpartum psychosis, to name a few examples. This covers the prenatal period, which is the time during which a woman is pregnant, as well as the postpartum period, which is the first year after the birth of the child. Anxiety and mood problems, on the other hand, can last for significantly longer periods of time. The perinatal period is characterized by the presence of mental disorders in around 15 to 20% of women, making it the most prevalent problem associated with delivery.

According to Salpi Salibian, MS, PA-C, CHLT, Director of Clinical Operations for the Hoag Hospital Maternal Mental Health Program, “Maternal mental conditions have been exacerbated by the challenges of the pandemic over the past year, with some reports showing the rates have more than doubled since 2019.” What is it about new and expecting moms that makes them so vulnerable?

And the strain placed on Black women and mothers in America is significantly higher as a result of institutional racism and the negative impact it has on mental health.

How Mothers Can Protect Their Mental Health

As a result, Salibian believes that expecting and new mothers, as well as relatives and friends, should be informed of the incidence of perinatal mood and anxiety disorders and when it is appropriate to seek care. There is no shame in requiring assistance, and de-stigmatizing and normalizing women who seek aid is an important element of improving maternal mental health and well-being at all stages of pregnancy. To discuss your concerns with a mental health professional before becoming pregnant or during your pregnancy is a good idea for anyone who has experienced anxiety or depression in the past.

Pregnant and new mothers have unique requirements, and many health care institutions, such as the Hoag Maternal Mental Health Clinic (MMH), are equipped to accommodate those needs with services like as outpatient counseling and psychiatric treatment.

The majority of the time, a simple questionnaire is used to screen for mental health issues in pregnant women.

If the results of the questionnaire indicate that you are suffering from a maternal mental health condition, there are several things you and your care team may take to alleviate your symptoms:

  • Read about labor and motherhood to help you create reasonable expectations for yourself and your kid. Creating a support network of people who can assist you with little duties around the house or who can babysit your children while you take a sleep
  • Developing appropriate self-care habits, such as getting adequate sleep and eating well, is important. Make use of meditation and mindfulness techniques. Meditation and mindfulness can assist you in managing stress and being less reactive to the stimuli that you may encounter as a new parent
  • But, they are not for everyone.

A Mindful Parenting Practice to Help You Be Present—and Enjoy the Daily Moments of Motherhood (also available in Spanish)

Unique Challenges Facing Black Mothers

“Black women in America—and particularly Black mothers—face widespread discrimination, which has a devastating impact on the health and well-being of their entire family,” says Dr. Sara Yafah King, PhD, a neuroscientist at the Oregon Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Neurological Disorders at Oregon HealthScience University and a member of the National Association of Women in Science. Dr. King points out that black women are considerably more likely than white mothers to suffer from chronic stress, anxiety, and depression as a result of microaggressions and systematic racism.

This can have a negative impact on their child’s healthy growth.

The stress of surviving COVID-19, in addition to home-schooling her children, attempting to work from home, and dealing with the incredible grief and sadness that has resulted from the continuation of police brutality and gun violence directed at Black, Brown, and AAPI communities, has contributed to physical and mental pain, as well as eroding her family’s mental health, according to Dr.

Specifically for Black and BIWOC women who are experiencing comparable difficulties, she gives the following advice for embodying resilience in both the short and long terms:

  • Look out and make contact with other Black mothers who are concerned about their emotional and physical well-being on the internet. Black parents may connect with one another on TryMater Mea, an online community. Develop a regular yoga practice to help you cope with stress. Let us rejoice in the fact that finding Black women yoga teachers to practice with is no longer a difficult task! According to Dr. King, the Black Yoga Teachers Alliance and Instagram are two sites where you may quickly connect with women who share your lived experience and, as a result, can mirror your blackgirlmagic and power to you. Participating in the growing Black gardening movement is something to think about. Engaging in plant-based activities is a wonderful way to unwind and reconnect with the natural world in a way that is beneficial to your nervous system. Check out @blackwithplants and @blacksuburbanhomestead for some design ideas. It is possible to transform your life by connecting with a Black therapist. They can help you reflect yourself back to yourself and promote the integration and healing of trauma that has been experienced in the body. As a resource and an outstanding example of a practice that caters to Black and Brown clients in California, Dr. King [email protected] as a resource and great example of a clinic that caters to Black and Brown clients

See also: Redefining Your Practice After Motherhood for more information.

Fact Sheets

Fact Sheets are documents that provide information about a topic. Mr. Mark Hinson2021-11-29T17:30:59+00:00 Mr. Mark Hinson

MMHLA encourages sharing these educational and informative Fact Sheets.

The Maternal Mental Health Fact Sheet contains information on facts and numbers, indications and symptoms, the implications of untreated MMH disorders, and the stages to recovery and recovery. The information in this Fact Sheet was compiled with the assistance of an editorial team that included experts from the domains of obstetrics, pediatrics, nursing, psychiatry, psychology, public health, and others.

DADSDEPRESSION

When there is a new baby in the family, fathers, husbands, and partners may also feel changes in their mood. Up to ten percent of new fathers will suffer from postpartum depression or anxiety after becoming a parent. This Fact Sheet contains information about fathers and depression, as well as information on options and supports to help them recover.

FOURTH TRIMESTER

This Fact Sheet emphasizes the importance of the Fourth Trimester (the first three months following childbirth) as a period of rest, recuperation, and transition for new moms and their babies.

All too frequently, the infant is the center of attention, rather than the mother. New moms, on the other hand, require time to heal from the physical and emotional effects of pregnancy, delivery, and the transition to parenting.

MATERNAL MENTAL HEALTH: BLACK WOMEN AND BIRTHING PEOPLE

MMH problems are experienced by over 40% of Black moms and birthing individuals. Black women are twice as likely as white women to suffer from mental health problems, yet they are just half as likely as white women to obtain treatment. Among other things, this Fact Sheet explores how social determinants of health affect Black people, provides information about Black-women led groups working on maternal health issues, and outlines hurdles to care as well as ideas for overcoming these barriers to treatment.

MATERNAL MENTAL HEALTH AND SUICIDE

Combined, suicide and drug overdose are the major causes of mortality among pregnant women in the first year after giving birth. In accordance with reports from several state Maternal Mortality Review Committees, the peak incidence of suicide occurs between 6 and 9 months after childbirth, highlighting the importance of continuing to educate and screen women for mental health conditions throughout the entire year following childbirth.

MEDICAID AND MATERNAL MENTAL HEALTH

Medicaid supports around 50 percent of births in the United States, with Black moms accounting for 66 percent of all births in the country. As of March 20, 2021, the American Rescue Plan Act allowed state governments the authority to extend pregnancy-related Medicaid coverage from 60 days to one year postpartum, ensuring that new moms are not left without treatment at a time when they are most vulnerable medically.

PEER SUPPORT

A critical component of recovery from a maternal mental health (MMH) problem is the presence of supportive peers. Peer assistance happens when people help each other with their knowledge, experience, emotions, social situations, or practical needs, rather than for themselves. This Fact Sheet explains the value of peer support throughout the perinatal period and gives information and links to peer support providers. It is written in plain language.

PERFORMANCE MEASURES

Performance metrics for the detection and treatment of postpartum depression will be implemented in 2020, according to the CDC. It is explained in this Fact Sheet how these new health care measures will be utilized, as well as the practical consequences of these new measures. It also addresses the influence of performance metrics in the context of health care.

PERINATAL PSYCHIATRY ACCESS PROGRAMS

Through education, counseling, and resource referrals, Perinatal Psychiatry Access Programs help frontline physicians gain the skills they need to treat maternal mental health issues in their patients. Information is provided in this Fact Sheet about how Access Programs may assist in the promotion of the health of mothers and children.

ADDITIONAL FACT SHEETS COMING SOON!

Maternal Suicide and the FDA’s Pregnancy and Lactation Labeling Preparing for the Reproductive Psychiatry Fellowship Programs Reproductive Psychiatry Fellowship Programs Screening Recommendations National Curriculum in Reproductive Psychiatry Steps to a Healthier You a link to the page’s load

Maternal Mental Health Conditions

Conditions Associated with Maternal Mental Health Mark Hinson2021-06-28T21:34:31+00:00 Mark Hinson2021-06-28T21:34:31+00:00

Mental health issues are the MOST COMMON complications of pregnancy and childbirth,

  • One in every five women suffers from a problem related to maternal mental health (MMH) (800,000 women each year in the United States). Depression, anxiety disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, bipolar disease (which may involve psychotic symptoms), and drug use disorders are among the mental health illnesses that can be treated with medication. In the first 2-3 weeks after the birth of a child, up to 85 percent of new moms experience the “Baby Blues,” which is a typical period of adjustment. The Baby Blues are characterized by emotional sensitivity, weepiness, and/or a sense of being overwhelmed. Baby blues are self-resolving and do not require therapy. The combination of changes in biology, psychology, and environment is responsible for the development of MMH disorders 4. Those who have a history of MMH disorders are at higher risk of developing them.
  • A personal or familial history of mental illness
  • A lack of social support, particularly from their partner
  • A difficult delivery or past trauma in their life
  • The presence of a newborn in an intensive care unit (NICU)
  • Among the major causes of mortality in the first year after childbirth are suicide and overdose, with 100 percent of these fatalities considered to be avoidable. 6–7
  • When a new baby is brought into the home, all parents — including dads and spouses — may experience changes in mood. 75 percent of women who are suffering maternal mental health difficulties do not receive the treatment they require to recover. 10. Mental health difficulties in pregnant women are transient and manageable. Women who receive adequate treatment are more likely to recover completely
  • Recovery from MMH disorders need a combination of self-care, social support and talk therapy as well as medicine. Occasionally, hospitalization may be required in extreme circumstances. 11
See also:  How Dr. Gail Parker Embraces Life at Every Stage

If you believe you or someone you know is suffering from a mental health problem and requires support, please contact Postpartum Support International. CITATIONS

  1. Opinion 757 of the ACOG Committee (2018). “Screening for prenatal depression,” says the author. The study “Perinatal depression: A comprehensive review of prevalence and incidence” was conducted by Gavin et al. Fawcett et al., Obstetrics and Gynecology, 2005
  2. 106: 1071-83. “Prevalence of anxiety disorders during pregnancy and the postpartum period: A multivariate Bayesian meta-analysis,” according to the journal “Multivariate Bayesian meta-analysis.” The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, volume 80, number 4, pages 1-14, is published by the National Institute of Mental Health (2013). The Facts About Postpartum Depression.NIH13-8000
  3. Davis et al. According to the study, “Pregnancy-related deaths: Data from 14 United States Maternal Mortality Review Committees, 2008-2017.” A report by Metz et al., published in Atlanta, Georgia, by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of the United States Department of Health and Human Services in 2019. The number of maternal fatalities by suicide or overdose in Colorado from 2004 to 2012.” 2016
  4. 128(6): 1233-1240
  5. Goldman-Mellor and Margerison. Mothers’ drug overdoses and suicide are the primary causes of postpartum death in California, according to a recent study. Da Costa et al., “A prospective study of postnatal depression symptoms and related risk factors in first-time dads,” American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 221(489): e1-9 (2019). Foli et al., “Post-adoption depression: parental classes of depressed symptoms over time,” Journal of Women’s Health, 2019
  6. 21(9): 830-836
  7. Foli et al., “Post-adoption depression: parental classes of depressive symptoms across time.” 2016
  8. 200: 293-302
  9. Byatt et al. “Enhancing involvement in depression care in outpatient prenatal care settings: A systematic review.” Journal of Affective Disorders. 2016
  10. Byatt et al. Obstetrics and Gynecology, Volume 126, Number 5, 2015, pages 1048-1058. Dr. Fitelson and colleagues published a paper titled “Treatment of postpartum depression: Clinical, psychological, and pharmaceutical alternatives” in the Journal of Clinical Psychology. International Journal of Women’s Health, vol. 3, no. 1, pp. 1-14, 2001.

The Maternal Mental Health Fact Sheet from the Maternal Mental Health Law Alliance (MMHLA) contains information on facts and numbers, indications and symptoms, implications of untreated MMH problems, and paths to wellness. The information in this Fact Sheet was compiled with the assistance of an editorial team that included experts from the domains of obstetrics, pediatrics, nursing, psychiatry, psychology, public health, and others. Maternal mental health (MMH) concerns include not just depression, but also a variety of anxiety disorders, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.

  • Depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, bipolar disorder (which may involve psychotic symptoms), substance use disorder, and other mental illnesses are all treated in the same way.

More information about these disorders can be found at Postpartum Support International. Baby Blues are a kind of depression that affects children. When a woman becomes pregnant, she will suffer transitory mood swings, tears, and irritation throughout the first few weeks of her pregnancy (up to 85 percent of the time). These minor mood swings, which are referred to as the Baby Blues, should subside on their own within two to three weeks. 4 Postpartum psychosis is a mental illness that occurs after a woman gives birth.

Consciousness loss, delusions, and hallucinations are all possible symptoms of postpartum psychosis.

More information may be found HERE.

  • Period of pregnancy (between conception and the baby’s first birthday): around 2 years Prenatal or Antenatal care: care provided during pregnancy. Postpartum or postnatal: the first year following the birth of a child.

When referring to the mental health disorders that women suffer during pregnancy and the first year after giving birth, the phrases listed below are interchangeable:

  • Postpartum depression (PPD) has long been used as an umbrella term to refer to a variety of mood changes that occur after pregnancy, including: Antenatal / prenatal / perinatal / postnatal depression and anxiety
  • Perinatal mood disorders (PMDs) or perinatal mood and anxiety disorders (PMADs)
  • Maternal mental health (MMH) challenges / complications / conditions / disorders / illnesses / issues
  • And Perinatal mood disorders (PMDs) or

If you believe you or someone you know is suffering from a mental health problem and requires support, please contact Postpartum Support International. CITATIONS

  1. Opinion 757 of the ACOG Committee (2018). “Perinatal depression: A systematic study of prevalence and incidence.”
  2. Gavin et al. “Perinatal depression: A systematic review of prevalence and incidence.” Fawcett et al., Obstetrics and Gynecology, 2005
  3. 106: 1071-83. “Prevalence of anxiety disorders during pregnancy and the postpartum period: A multivariate Bayesian meta-analysis,” according to the journal “Multivariate Bayesian meta-analysis.” The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, volume 80, number 4, pages 1-14, is published by the National Institute of Mental Health (2013). Postpartum Depression Facts.NIH13-8000
  4. Postpartum Support International website
  5. Postpartum Depression Facts.NIH13-8000

The following are examples of signs and symptoms of maternal mental health (MMH) conditions:

  • Suffering from feelings of sadness or depression
  • Being excessively impatient or furious with others around you
  • Having difficulty relating with your child
  • Feeling frightened or panicked
  • Having difficulties with eating or sleeping, for example
  • Having disturbing ideas that you can’t seem to get rid of in your head
  • A sense of being out of control or as though you’re “becoming insane”
  • If you’re feeling guilty about becoming a mother, you’re not alone. Concerned about the possibility of injuring your child or yourself

Women suffering with MMH problems may express themselves in ways such as:

  • I’m constantly concerned
  • Why am I such a failure
  • And Making the decision to have a child was a mistake
  • I’m not bonding with my child
  • I’m terrified of being alone with my child
  • I’m having nightmares about becoming the worst mother in the world
  • I’m getting frightening ideas. Although I’m completely fatigued, I can’t sleep, even when my baby sleeps
  • All of my problems would be solved if I could only get a decent night’s sleep
  • I’m meant to be cheerful. What is causing my sadness (or overload or anxiety)
  • In fact, I’m such a lousy mother that my child (or family) would be better off without me

If you believe you or someone you know is suffering from a mental health illness and requires treatment, please contact Postpartum Support International. Pregnancy-related maternal mental health (PMH) disorders are biopsychosocial diseases that are most typically caused by a mix of stresses. A small number of women are genetically prone to anxiety, depression, or other mental health disorders, while others are particularly vulnerable to hormonal swings during pregnancy and the immediate postpartum period.

  • An individual’s or family’s history of depression or anxiety problems
  • The history of pregnancy, which may involve severe premenstrual symptoms, fertility treatments, loss, or stillbirth
  • Sensitivity to hormonal fluctuations
  • Pregnancy at a young age or during adolescence Anemia or thyroid dysfunction are examples of medical concerns. Sleep deprivation / interruption of sleep

The following are examples of psychological risk factors:

  • A tendency to be overly meticulous
  • Difficulty transitioning
  • Unrealistic or tight expectations
  • Low self-esteem as a result of the pregnancy and birth of the child.

The following are examples of social risk factors:

  • Insufficient support, notably from a spouse or partner
  • Isolation on a social level
  • Poor financial situation due to low income or immigration status
  • Domestic violence
  • Sexual abuse

Women who live in poverty and women of color are more likely than other women to suffer from mental health problems and are less likely to seek treatment. This is attributable to the following factors:

  • Unavailability of health-care services, particularly culturally acceptable mental health treatment
  • Biases based on cultural and racial identity in the healthcare system
  • Increased obstacles to caring, such as a lack of transportation or daycare
  • There is concern that child protective services or immigration authorities may become involved.

If you believe you or someone you know is suffering from a mental health illness and requires treatment, please contact Postpartum Support International.

You are not alone.You are not to blame.With help, you will be well.

Women and their children can suffer severe consequences if maternal mental health (MMH) conditions are not treated. These consequences include increased risk of poor adherence to medical care, exacerbation of medical conditions, loss of interpersonal and financial resources, smoking and substance abuse, suicide, and infanticide. There are risks to the mother. Among women with untreated MMH disorders, there is a higher likelihood of:1-5

  • They do not take responsibility for their own health
  • They eat poorly
  • They use substances such as alcohol, cigarettes, or narcotics
  • Have you ever been abused physically, emotionally, or sexually? Reduce your sensitivity to your baby’s cues. Positive interactions with the infant will be reduced. Breastfeeding difficulties are encountered
  • They should be questioned about their abilities as moms.

The fact that suicide is one of the main causes of mortality for women in the first year following pregnancy is particularly troubling. 6-8 dangers to the kid Children born to moms who have untreated MMH disorders are at increased risk for the following conditions: 4, 10, and 11

  • Low birth weight or a tiny head size at the time of birth Premature birth (also known as preterm birth). Increased length of stay in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) Crying for no apparent reason Interactions between parents and children are impaired. Delays in behavioral, cognitive, or emotional development

An Adverse Childhood Experience (ACE) is a negative childhood experience that can have a negative influence on a child’s long-term health if it is left untreated in the family. 12 If you believe you or someone you know is suffering from a mental health problem and requires support, please contact Postpartum Support International. CITATIONS

  1. “Postpartum Depression Facts,” according to the National Institute of Mental Health. NIH13-8000
  2. Zhou et al., “Treatment of drug use disorders among women of reproductive age by depression and anxiety disorder status, 2008-2014,” National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant. Field’s Journal of Women’s Health, vol. 28, no. 8, pp. 1068-1076, 2019. “A review of the impacts of postpartum depression on early relationships, parenting, and safety practices: A review.” “Postpartum depression: What do pediatricians need to know?” Sriraman et al., Infant Behavioral Health, 2010
  3. 33(1): 1-14
  4. “Postpartum depression: What do pediatricians need to know?” Fitelson et al., “Treatment of postpartum depression: Clinical, psychological, and pharmaceutical alternatives,” Pediatrics in Review, vol. 38, no. 12, pp. 541-551 (December 2017). “Pregnancy-related deaths: Data from 14 U.S. maternal mortality review committees, 2008-2017,” International Journal of Women’s Health, vol. 3, no. 1, 2011, pp. 1-14
  5. Davis et al. “Pregnancy-related deaths: Data from 14 U.S. maternal mortality review committees, 2008-2017,” International Journal of Women’s Health, vol. 3, no. 1, 2011, pp. 1-14. Metz et al., 2019
  6. Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, United States Department of Health and Human Services
  7. Metz et al., 2019
  8. Colorado’s maternal fatalities by suicide and overdose, from 2014 to 2012, is detailed in this report. OBGYN, 2016
  9. 128(6): 1233-1240, Goldman-Mellor and Margerison
  10. Goldman-Mellor and Margerison. Mothers’ drug overdoses and suicide are the primary causes of postpartum death in California, according to a recent study. “The contribution of maternal psychological functioning to infant length of stay in the neonatal intensive care unit,” American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 2019
  11. 221(489): e1-9
  12. Cherry et al. “The contribution of maternal psychological functioning to infant length of stay in the neonatal intensive care unit.” A meta-analysis of depression during pregnancy and the risk of preterm delivery, low birth weight, and intrauterine growth restriction was published in the International Journal of Women’s Health in 2016, volume 8, pages 233-242
  13. Grote et al. “Effects of perinatal mental illnesses on the fetus and kid,” according to Stein et al. in Archives of General Psychiatry, vol. 67, no. 10, 2010, pp. 1012-1024. According to Felitti et al., “The relationship of childhood maltreatment and home dysfunction to several of the top causes of mortality in adults: The adverse childhood experiences (ACE) research,” published in the Lancet in 2014, 384: 1800-1819. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, vol. 14, no. 4, 1998, pp. 245-258.
See also:  by Jan Maddern

In the unlikely event that you or someone you know is suffering from postpartum depression or another maternal mental health (MMH) disorder, please know that you are not alone, that you are not to blame, and that with support, you will recover. Consult with your spouse / partner / family / friend / healthcare practitioner about your concerns. IN THE EVENT OF AN EMERGENCY

  • To report any form of crisis, text HOME to 741741 from anywhere in the United States, at any time.
  • 1-800-273-8255
  • For yourself or for someone you care about
  • For further information. free of charge and without obligation
  • More than 140 crisis centers are located around the country and are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

SUPPORT AND RESOURCES ARE AVAILABLE FROM:

  • In the field of maternal mental health difficulties, Postpartum Support International (PSI) is the leading organization in giving hope and assistance to mothers, dads, and families affected by these challenges.
  • Calls, emails, and text messages are answered by PSI staff and trained volunteers, who link callers to available services in their area. Free online support groups and a directory of mental health professionals who specialize in treating maternal mental health disorders are provided by PSI
  • Both are available at no cost. PSI has volunteers that are trained in providing help.
  • For dads and partners, gay parents, adoptive parents and birth moms, jailed women, military families, parents of babies in the neonatal intensive care unit, parents who have experienced sorrow and loss due to pregnancy
  • Call 800-944-4773 or text 503-894-9453
  • Or go to www.postpartum.net for further information.

a link to the page’s load

Mom’s Mental Health Matters: Moms-to-be and Moms – NCMHEP

Pregnancy and the birth of a child can bring up a wide range of emotions. In reality, many women experience feelings of stress, sadness, or anxiety at various points throughout their pregnancy, and even after the baby is born. Fortunately, for many women, these symptoms subside on their own. However, for other women, these feelings are more significant and may last for a long period of time. Depression and anxiety that occur during pregnancy or at any moment during the first year following the birth of your child are medical illnesses that must be treated as such.

And, if you seek medical attention, they may be addressed.

What are depression and anxiety?

Depression and anxiety, both of which involve the brain and can manifest itself as feelings of sadness, emptiness, and/or “down,” are significant medical problems that can manifest themselves during pregnancy or after childbirth. The fact that I had a new kid made me feel like I was meant to be joyful, but I felt like I was just putting on a happy face for everyone else. There are more to these sentiments than what folks would experience when they’re having a terrible day or are apprehensive about an approaching event.

They are really persistent and will not go away on their own. However, they are curable, which is why it is critical to seek medical attention.

Are you talking about postpartum depression?

Postpartum depression is a term that may be used to describe the feelings of depression and anxiety that can occur during and after pregnancy. However, it is possible that this is not the greatest approach to convey how women feel. Because the term “postpartum” refers to “after delivery,” the term “postpartum depression” refers to depression that occurs exclusively after the baby is delivered. For many women, this description is accurate: they begin to experience sadness sometime within the first year after giving birth to their child.

  • This is referred known as “perinatal depression” in certain circles to explain the scenario.
  • The majority of researchers feel that depression is one of the most prevalent issues that women encounter during and after pregnancy.
  • It is just as common as depression to experience anxiety during and after pregnancy, and it can even occur at the same time as depression.
  • Depression and anxiety that occur during pregnancy or after childbirth are actual medical problems that impact a large number of women, regardless of what you label them.

What are some signs of de​pression and anxiety?

Women who are depressed or anxious about their pregnancy tell us that they are experiencing the following symptoms:

  • Extremely depressed or enraged without prior notice
  • If you’re feeling hazy or having problems finishing activities, As though they are merely going through the motions
  • “robotic.” When it comes to the infant and their other children, they are really nervous. They feel guilty and as though they are failing as mothers
  • Unusual levels of irritability or rage

They also frequently exhibit the following characteristics: ​

  • They have lost interest in things that they used to appreciate
  • Having frightening, disturbing ideas that won’t go away

How common are depression and anxiety during pregnancy or after birth?

As previously said, depression is believed to be one of the most prevalent disorders that women encounter during and after pregnancy, according to studies. According to a nationwide survey, around one in every eight mothers suffers from postpartum depression after giving birth to a child. When it comes to anxiety during and after pregnancy, it is just as frequent as depression, and it can occur simultaneously with depression. You may believe that you are the only person on the face of the planet who experiences depression and anxiety during pregnancy or after the birth of your child, but you are not alone.

What are the risk factors for depression and anxiety during pregnancy or after birth?

Depression and anxiety during pregnancy or after childbirth can occur in anybody at any point in their lives. However, there are a number of variables that increase the likelihood of certain women experiencing one or both of these illnesses compared to others. These are some of the risk factors:

  • A history of sadness or anxiety, either during pregnancy or at other periods in one’s life is considered risky. 1
  • A history of sadness or anxiety in the family 2
  • A difficult pregnancy or birth experience 3
  • Giving birth to twins or other multiples 4
  • Experiencing difficulties in your relationship with your partner 5
  • Experiencing financial difficulties 6
  • Receiving little or no support from family or friends to assist you in caring for your baby 7
  • An unplanned pregnancy 8
  • A difficult pregnancy or birth experience

Depression and anxiety during pregnancy or after childbirth are not caused by anything you do or don’t do; rather, they are medical problems that affect the brain.

Despite the fact that we do not completely understand the origins of these disorders, experts believe that sadness and anxiety at this period may be caused by a combination of physical, psychological, and environmental variables.

Can depression and anxiety during pregnancy or after birth affect my baby?

Yes, these medical issues can have an impact on your kid, but not in a direct manner. Developing a strong mother-child link from an early age is critical to your kid’s growth, and growing close to your infant is a crucial component of that bonding. When you are suffering from depression or anxiety during your pregnancy or after birth, it can be difficult to bond with your child. It is possible that you will be unable to respond to your baby’s requirements. In addition, if you have older children in the family, they may be missing your support as well as your presence.

The sooner you begin, the sooner you will see a difference in your overall health.

Are there treatments for depression or anxiety during pregnancy or after birth?

Yes, there are therapies available, and they can assist you in feeling more comfortable. Treatment may be able to alleviate your symptoms or perhaps totally eliminate them. A person’s depression or anxiety will not go away on its own. With therapy, there is a chance of recovery. There are several therapy options available for sadness or anxiety that occur during or after pregnancy. Some women may benefit from psychotherapy (sometimes known as “talk therapy”), while others may require medication.

You may be asked a series of questions, known as a screening, by your healthcare professional in order to understand more about how you are feeling.

Following are some of the therapies available for sadness and anxiety that can arise during or after pregnancy.

Counseling (“Talk Therapy”)

For some women, speaking with a mental health professional about their concerns or thoughts may be quite beneficial. Your provider can assist you in identifying and implementing strategies to manage your symptoms and make adjustments that can alleviate your sadness or anxiety.

Medication

For a long period, I didn’t feel like myself. I wanted to get back to my authentic self. Several drugs are available that are successful in the treatment of depression and anxiety and are safe for pregnant women, nursing mothers, and their newborns. Consult with your health-care provider about which drugs may be appropriate for you. You may also learn more about medicines and their prospective effects on a breastfed infant by visiting the United States Food and Drug Administration. ​

Is there anything I can do in addition to treatment?

Along with treatment, there are certain things you can do to help yourself feel better. Here are some suggestions.

  • Make friends with other moms. Look for a parents’ group in your neighborhood or on the internet. These groups may provide you with the opportunity to learn from people who are going through or have gone through the same thing as you, as well as the opportunity to express your own emotions. It is possible to find organizations in your region through Postpartum Support International (PSI). Postpartum Progress ® is a private online community where you can interact with other moms from all over the world
  • It is free to join. Set aside some time for yourself. Do something that will benefit you, such as going out of the home or taking a long, hot bath without being interrupted. Provide frequent babysitting services by having your partner, an extended family member, or a babysitter monitor the child, and then leave the house to visit friends or run an errand. Make a choice that you enjoy. Take a few minutes every day to do something you like, whether it is listening to music, reading a book, or watching a favorite movie. Be realistic in your expectations. You are not required to complete all tasks. The “ideal” home isn’t necessary in every situation. You should just do what you can and leave the rest to others. Inquire for assistance. Please don’t be embarrassed to ask for help from family and friends, whether it’s for child care or home duties. Rest while the baby is sleeping or sleeping well. It’s just as crucial for you to get some shut-eye as it is for the baby. Sleep when the baby sleeps, during naps, and at night
  • Surround yourself with other adults
  • Seek out other adults, such as relatives and friends, who can give comfort and companionship. Make a particular time for you and your spouse, or for you and a friend, to spend time together on a regular basis.

Can I prevent depression or anxiety during pregnancy or after birth?

The prevention of depression or anxiety during pregnancy and after the birth of your child is not yet known to be possible. Knowing what signs and symptoms to look out for throughout and after pregnancy, on the other hand, can help you prepare and obtain care as soon as possible. What you can do is as follows:

  • The prevention of sadness or anxiety that can arise during pregnancy and after the delivery of your child is not known at this time. Nonetheless, understanding what signs and symptoms to look out for throughout and after pregnancy can help you prepare and receive care as soon as possible if they occur. Listed below are some options:

Remember that sadness and anxiety that occur during pregnancy or after the birth of your child are not caused by you; rather, they are medical disorders that necessitate the seeking of medical attention.

Citations

Please keep in mind that sadness and anxiety that occur during pregnancy or after the birth of your child are not your fault; rather, they are medical disorders that need professional treatment.

  1. MILGROM (James), GEMILL (Andrew W.), BILSZTA (J.L.), HAYES (Brendan), BARNETT (Brendan), BROOKS (James), et al (2008). An extensive prospective investigation of antenatal risk factors for postpartum depression was conducted. Dietz, P.M., Williams, S.B., Callaghan, W.M., Bachman, D.J., Whitlock, E.P., Hornbrook, M.C., Journal of Affective Disorders, 108 (1-2), 147–157
  2. Dietz, P.M., Williams, S.B., Callaghan, W.M., Bachman, D.J., Whitlock, E.P., Hornbrook, M (2007). Maternal depression that has been clinically recognized before, during, and after pregnancies that result in live births Blom, E.A., Jansen, P.W., Verhulst, F.C., Hofman, A., Raat, H., Jaddoe, V.W., et al. American Journal of Psychiatry, 164 (10), 1515–1520
  3. Blom, E.A., Jansen, P.W., Verhulst, F.C., Hofman, A., Raat, H. (2010). The risk of sadness or anxiety during pregnancy or after childbirth increases as a result of perinatal problems. The Generation R Research Project. Blom, E.A., Jansen, P.W., Verhulst, F.C., Hofman, A., Raat, H., Jaddoe, V.W., et al. 2010. BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 117 (11), 1390–1398
  4. Blom, E.A., Jansen, P.W., Verhulst, F.C. The risk of sadness or anxiety during pregnancy or after childbirth increases as a result of perinatal problems. The Generation R Research Project. In BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, 117 (11):1390–1398
  5. Robertson, E.
  6. Grace, S.
  7. Wallington, T.
  8. And Stewart, D.E. (2001). (2004). A review of recent evidence on antenatal risk factors for depression or anxiety throughout pregnancy or after childbirth. General Hospital Psychiatry, vol. 26, no. 4, pp. 289–295
  9. Howell, E.A., Mora, P., and Leventhal, H., eds (2006). Early postpartum depression symptoms are associated with a number of factors. MCH Journal, 10 (2), 149–157
  10. E. Robertson, S. Grace, T. Wallington, and D.E. Stewart. Robertson E, Grace S, Wallington T, Stewart D.E. (2004). A review of recent evidence on antenatal risk factors for depression or anxiety throughout pregnancy or after childbirth. The Journal of General Hospital Psychiatry, Volume 26, Number 4, Pages 289–295
  11. Milgrom, J., Gemmill, A.W., Bilszta, J.L., Hayes, B., Barnett, B., Brooks, J., et al (2008). An extensive prospective investigation of antenatal risk factors for postpartum depression was conducted. Journal of Affective Disorders, vol. 108, no. 1–2, pp. 147–157.
See also:  Understanding the 5 Kleshas for Better Mental Well-Being

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GETTING BACK TO THE TOP

Depression in Women: 5 Things You Should Know

The emotion of sadness is a typical reaction to unpleasant circumstances in one’s life. However, most of the time, the melancholy subsides within a short period of time. When it comes to depression, it’s a different story. It’s a mood condition that can create severe symptoms that interfere with your ability to sleep, eat, and do daily tasks like working. Depression is more frequent in women than in males, which is most likely owing to a combination of biological, hormonal, and social variables that are specific to female psychology.

1. Depression is a real medical condition.

Depression is a common yet dangerous mood condition that affects millions of people every year. Work, sleep, learning, eating, and enjoying one’s life can all be hampered by the symptoms of depression. Despite the fact that experts are currently investigating the origins of sadness, current evidence shows that depression is caused by a mix of genetic, biochemical, environmental, and psychological factors. The majority of people who suffer from depression require therapy in order to feel better.

You can’t just ‘snap out’ of depression.

“Snap out of it,” “just be optimistic,” or “you can be happier if you just try harder” are all suggestions made by well-intentioned friends or family members to someone suffering from depression. Depression, on the other hand, is not a symptom of a person’s weakness or a deficiency in character. The reality is that the majority of individuals who suffer from depression require treatment in order to recover. The emotional support, compassion, patience, and encouragement you can provide to a lady suffering from depression would be much appreciated.

Encourage her to speak with her health-care practitioner and tell her that, with enough time and therapy, she will be able to recover.

Most people with depression need treatment to feel better.

If you suspect that you may be suffering from depression, make an appointment with your health-care practitioner as soon as possible. This might be your primary care physician or a mental health professional who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of mental health disorders (for example, a psychologist or psychiatrist). Certain drugs, as well as certain medical disorders, such as viruses or a thyroid disease, can produce symptoms that are similar to depression. A physical exam, an interview, and laboratory testing can all be performed by a health care practitioner to rule out these possibilities.

2. Depression can hurt—literally.

Depression is characterized by a combination of feelings of sadness and hopelessness. Some persons suffering from depression do not experience any sadness at all. Besides emotional symptoms, people who are depressed may also have physical symptoms, such as aches and pains, headaches, cramps, and digestive issues.

Someone suffering from depression may also experience difficulties sleeping, waking up in the morning, and feeling weary. It is possible that you are suffering from depression if you have been experiencing any of the signs and symptoms listed below for more than two weeks:

  • A persistently depressed, apprehensive, or “empty” state of mind
  • Anxiety, irritability, and feelings of helplessness or despair Guilt, worthlessness, or powerlessness are common emotions. Energy or tiredness levels that are lower than normal
  • Sleeping difficulties, early morning awakenings, or oversleeping are all possible symptoms. Loss of interest or enjoyment in one’s interests and activities
  • Slowing down in movement or speech You’re feeling restless or you’re having difficulty sitting still
  • Inability to concentrate or recall information
  • Inability to make judgments
  • Modifications in one’s appetite or weight
  • Suicidal thoughts or attempts, as well as thoughts of death or suicide
  • Unrelenting aches and pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive difficulties that don’t seem to have a clear medical cause and that don’t go away even after therapy

Consult your doctor if you are experiencing any of these symptoms. Be truthful, direct, and succinct in your communication with your provider; he or she needs to know how you’re feeling. It is possible that your health care provider will inquire about when your symptoms began, what time of day they occur, how long they last, how frequently they occur, whether they appear to be getting worse or better, and whether they prevent you from going out or engaging in your normal daily activities. Preparing some notes on your symptoms before seeing your healthcare provider may be beneficial in a number of ways.

3. Certain types of depression are unique to women.

Pregnancy, the postpartum period, perimenopause, and the menstrual cycle are all accompanied by significant physical and hormonal changes, and they all occur at different times of the year. Certain varieties of depression might manifest themselves at various points in a woman’s life.

Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)

Premenstrual syndrome, sometimes known as PMS, is characterized by moodiness and irritability in the weeks leading up to menstruation. There are many cases of this, and the symptoms are typically mild. However, there is a less common and more severe variant of PMS known as premenstrual dysphoric disorder, which is less prevalent and more severe (PMDD). It is a dangerous disorder that manifests itself in debilitating symptoms such as irritability and rage as well as depression and melancholy, as well as suicidal thoughts and feelings.

Perinatal Depression

Being pregnant is a difficult experience. Morning sickness, weight gain, and mood fluctuations are all common symptoms experienced by pregnant women. Taking care of a newborn is also a difficult task. Many new mothers suffer from the “baby blues,” which is a phrase that refers to modest mood changes as well as emotions of anxiety, dissatisfaction, and weariness that many women experience in the first two weeks after giving birth to a child. These sensations normally linger a week or two and then subside as a new mother becomes acclimated to her new role as a mother of a newborn.

The term “perinatal” refers to the period of time preceding and following the birth of a child.

Mothers suffering with perinatal depression report experiencing strong feelings of grief, worry, and exhaustion, which can make it difficult for them to carry out everyday chores, such as caring for themselves, their new child, or other family members and friends.

You should urge a loved one who is showing indications of depression to consult a health care practitioner or visit a clinic if you see any signs of depression throughout her pregnancy or after the kid is delivered.

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) has published a pamphlet on perinatal depression that you may read to learn more about the condition.

Perimenopausal Depression

It is common for a woman to have perimenopause (the period between menstruation and menopause), although it can be difficult at times. If you are suffering the symptoms of perimenopause, you may be having irregular periods, difficulty sleeping, mood changes, and hot flashes, to name a few. Despite the fact that these signs and symptoms are frequent, experiencing sad is not. If you are experiencing symptoms such as irritation, anxiety, melancholy, or a general lack of enjoyment during the menopause transition, you may be suffering from perimenopausal depression.

Depression affects each woman differently.

Not every woman who is sad exhibits all of the signs and symptoms. Some women just experience a couple of the symptoms. Others have a large number. The degree and frequency of symptoms, as well as the length of time they endure, will vary from person to person and depending on the severity of the condition.

4. Depression can be treated.

The treatment of depression is effective even in the most severe situations. Depression is typically treated with medicine, psychotherapy (sometimes known as “talk therapy”), or a combination of the two approaches (see below). A class of drugs known as antidepressants is widely used to treat depression. Antidepressants have varied effects on different people, and you may need to take many different medications before finding the one that works best for you. Researchers are also investigating and developing new drugs for depression, such as brexanolone for postpartum depression and esketamine, which are now under investigation.

  1. There are many various forms of psychotherapy, such as cognitive behavioral therapy and interpersonal therapy, to choose from, among others.
  2. Therapists can also integrate and adapt parts of other techniques to meet their own needs.
  3. There is no “one-size-fits-all” solution when it comes to therapy.
  4. On the National Institute of Mental Health’s website on depression, you may learn more about the many methods of depression treatment, including psychotherapy, medication, and brain stimulation therapies.

What to Consider When Looking for a Therapist

Therapists and patients collaborate on their treatment, so finding a suitable fit is critical. The following pointers might assist you in your search for the suitable therapist. Inquire about their areas of specialization. Therapists come from a variety of different professional backgrounds and have a variety of expertise. Finding a therapist who has previous expertise working with your unique illness is essential. Learn about the kind of therapies that they employ. Inquire as to whether or not such therapies are beneficial in coping with your specific mental health condition or concern.

Determine how long you should anticipate therapy to last and when you should expect to see a reduction in your symptoms and an improvement in your quality of life.

Don’t be frightened to continue your search. The importance of rapport and trust cannot be overstated. The discussions that take place in therapy are quite intimate, thus it is critical that you feel comfortable with the therapist you choose.

5. Researchers at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and across the country are dedicated to women’s mental health research.

Researchers are continuing their research into depression in order to enhance the way this medical illness is recognized and treated in the future. For example, researchers at the National Institute of Mental Health are presently attempting to determine how and why changes in reproductive hormones cause mood disorders such as postpartum depression, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, and perimenopausal depression to occur. Scientists at the National Institute of Mental Health are conducting a large number of research studies with patients and healthy volunteers in order to better understand why some women are at greater risk than others, and how they can translate these findings into new treatments or new applications for existing treatments.

You can play a role in research by joining a clinical trial.

In the field of medicine, clinical trials are research studies that investigate novel methods of preventing, diagnosing, and treating illnesses and ailments. The purpose of clinical trials is to establish if a new test or therapy is effective and safe to use. People who take part in a clinical trial may find it beneficial in their own lives, but they should be aware that the primary goal of a clinical trial is to gather new scientific knowledge that will allow others to be better served in the future.

Healthy participants are essential to the success of our research.

Finding Help

This online resource, provided by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), helps you find mental health treatment facilities and services in your area. Additional information can be found on our Help for Mental Illnesses website. You can reach the National Suicide Prevention Hotline toll-free at 1-800-273-TALK if you are experiencing immediate distress or are considering harming yourself (8255). You can also text the Crisis Text Line (HELLO to 741741) or utilize the Lifeline Chat on theNational Suicide Prevention Lifelinewebsite to reach someone in crisis.

Reprints

This work is in the public domain, and it may be reproduced or copied without the permission of the National Institute of Mental Health. It would be great if you could cite NIMH as a source. Please see these instructions if you want to learn more about how to use NIMH publications.

For More Information

MedlinePlus (National Library of Medicine) (in Spanish) is a resource for medical information. ClinicalTrials.gov (in Spanish) is a website dedicated to clinical trials. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES OF THE UNITED STATES Published by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as Publication No. 20-MH-4779 in 2020.

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