Anxiety Care NY

Know that there is hope – PMADS respond well to treatment with psychotherapy and medication.

Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders (PMADs)

The term “perinatal” refers to the period starting at the time of becoming pregnant and lasting up to a year after delivery. Due to hormone changes and significant life transitions, perinatal women are particularly vulnerable to mood and anxiety difficulties, and PMADs are common.

• 1 in 5 women in the US are diagnosed with some form of a PMAD
• Approximately 21% of women experience mild to major depression in the postpartum period
• Up to 11% of women experience Postpartum Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

It is critical to make your mental well-being a priority during this time period, even if it feels difficult to find the time. Getting professional help for PMAD is vital as these disorders do not typically resolve on their own and can significantly impact you, your baby, and your family.

We provide effective therapy for Postpartum OCD, Postpartum Anxiety, and Postpartum Depression

What is Perinatal Depression?

Perinatal Depression affects about 10-20% of mothers and can occur in pregnancy or postpartum. It is different from “baby blues”, which affects about 50% of women after childbirth and usually goes away on its own after a few weeks. Symptoms of PPD include sadness, despair, anxiety, and irritability that persist beyond two weeks after delivery. PPD is also characterized by difficulty sleeping, changes in appetite, changes in motivation and energy, loss of interest, excessive guilt, feelings of worthlessness, and suicidal thoughts. Thoughts about wanting to run away are also common in PPD.

Distinguishing between symptoms of PDD and the effects of significant lifestyle changes due to a newborn can be challenging. For example, determining whether your fatigue is a result of depression or simply from late-night feedings can be tricky. This complexity underscores the significance of seeking expert assistance if you have any concerns about your mental health. It’s critical to remember that PPD is treatable, and there’s no need to suffer alone.

What is Perinatal Anxiety?

The experience of perinatal anxiety (PPA) can be overwhelming and all-consuming. The demands of caring for a newborn, coupled with the need to take care of oneself, can create a suffocating sense of pressure. Those with PPA often feel like they’re in a constant state of fight-or-flight, besieged by racing thoughts and relentless worries about their baby’s well-being and their own ability to provide adequate care. For instance, a new mother may feel intense anxiety about how she will cope with a baby who wakes up every 2-3 hours throughout the night. Anxiety in pregnancy may be experienced in the form of worrying about the health of the fetus and catastrophizing about how one will handle the demands to come.

What is Perinatal Obsessive Compulsive Disorder?

Perinatal Obsessive Compulsive Disorder can occur in pregnancy and/or postpartum. It involves the presence of intrusive and unwanted thoughts, images, or worries and compulsive behavior in order to reduce anxiety. The postpartum period is a high-risk time for the development of OCD symptoms and it is estimated that up to 11% of women will experience some form of Perinatal OCD.

Common Compulsions in Perinatal OCD

  • Excessively checking the baby, such as frequently monitoring their breathing or constantly looking at a baby monitor
  • Calling the pediatrician excessively, even for minor concerns
  • Engaging in excessive washing or cleaning of baby bottles, changing tables, and other items
  • Avoiding tasks such as giving the baby a bath or changing their diaper due to fear of harm or contamination
  • Avoiding taking the baby on stairs or to heights due to fear of dropping the baby
  • Trying to suppress or neutralize distressing thoughts and images related to the baby’s safety
  • Seeking reassurance from others repeatedly to alleviate anxiety
  • Googling for information excessively and compulsively
  • Rituals related to perfectionism and symmetry (e.g., washing the baby’s sheets every two days)

Common Obsessions in Perinatal OCD

Therapy for Postpartum OCD and Postpartum Anxiety

If you are experiencing scary thoughts, you are not alone. Having scary or unwanted thoughts does not mean you are a bad mother or that you will act on them. At Anxiety Care NY, our specialized therapists are here to help you cope with unwanted thoughts and feelings without judgment.

Don't Let Anxiety Hold You Back From Living The Life You Want

Contact Us Today To Start Improving Your Life