Know that there is hope – PMADS respond well to treatment with psychotherapy and medication.
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
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.
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.
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.
If you are experiencing scary thoughts, you are not alone. At Anxiety Care NY we will not judge you for experiencing any of these types of thoughts; we have heard it all. Having these thoughts does not mean you are a bad mother or that you will act on them. Perinatal OCD is actually the brain’s way of being overprotective of your offspring by warning you of all of the possible dangers to avoid.