What was classically called postpartum depression is now being called perinatal mood and anxiety disorders (PMADs). This is because as we have more data and more mothers sharing their experiences, we're learning that many women that have mental health exacerbations after pregnancy actually began experiencing the start or worsening of depressive and anxious symptoms during their pregnancies-- otherwise known as the perinatal period.
It might be hard to recognize symptoms of perinatal or postpartum depression and anxiety because many women assume what they are experiencing is within the normal range of pregnancy-related exhaustion, adjustment to a new pregnancy or baby, paired with a guilt or shame that "all other moms make it through this". While life is challenging you in new ways, it shouldn't be debilitating you, causing you extreme distress, or making you white-knuckle your way through your pregnancy journey. You may be suffering from a treatable perinatal mood and anxiety disorder.
How will we know if this is a more typical adjustment period (also known as "baby blues") or a more concerning depression that would benefit from treatment? We'll use both your personal experience and my clinical experience. It's normal to feel fatigued, exhausted, and more emotional during and after your pregnancy. But if you are crying uncontrollably, having panicky feelings, feeling unbonded to your baby, feeling overly protective of your baby and unable to allow others to care for them, excessive guilt related to being a mother, lashing out at your partner or other children with irritability and rage, feeling like you should never have become a parent or simply feeling hopeless, spiraling and stuck, these are all signs that you might have perinatal or postpartum depression.
The good news is that this is extremely treatable and you can feel like yourself again. I specialize in working with women who are suffering from perinatal or postpartum depression and have seen patients get better over and over again. Our treatment plan may include both medications and/or therapy, and I am committed to working with you, your family and your other providers to make sure we are all on the same page to support you through your journey.
Medical Advice Disclaimer: This website does not provide medical advice. All content and information on this website, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material, is for information and educational purposes only, and does not constitute medical advice. No material on the site is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new healthcare regimen. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.
Visiting this website does not constitute establishing a therapeutic or physician-patient relationship.