PMAD or PMH disorders are one in the same. PMHD can occur during pregnancy, postpartum and up to a year postpartum, sometimes beyond. They are found throughout all cultures, ethnicities, ages, and at any income level. You may have heard about the baby blues which happens within a few days to 2 weeks postpartum. PMHD is more than just baby blues which go away on their own. PMHD are symptoms that are worsening or interfering with your daily life and requires the help of a medical professional. PMH disorders include depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorders (OCD), bipolar, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and psychosis.
Postpartum depression: 1 in 5 moms and 1 in 10 dads
Anxiety: 15-21% of pregnant women; approximately 10% of new dads
Postpartum PTSD: 9% of women
Psychosis: 1-2 in 1,000 women
OCD: approximately 7%-11% of new moms
Bipolar: 22% of depressed postpartum women are suffering from bipolar depression.
In Michigan, 23,000 families are afflicted with PMAD yearly.
In 2017 - in approximately 3.8 million U.S. births, 443,383 women suffered from PMAD, with total societal cost for untreated PMAD at $14.2 billion.
YES! There are health professionals called psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, psychiatrists, psychologists, and therapists that can provide the help you need. They may prescribe you a medication and/or psychotherapy.
Call your OB/GYN or primary care doctor for more information. If it is a mental health crisis (medical emergency), please call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room.
Postpartum Support International (PSI) is an excellent resource for help, guidance, and online resources
Visit https://www.postpartum.net/ for more information.
1-800-944-4773 #1 en Espanol or #2 for English
Text "Help" to 800-944-4773 Text en Espanol: 971-203-7773
You are not alone and you are not to blame. Help is available. You will get better. (PSI)
National Maternal Mental Health Hotline (US only)
988 Suicide and Crisis Hotline OR 911
Often a mom will not disclose her symptoms in fear that the people around her will think that she is going to harm her baby, or is not capable of being a mother. Many moms will associate postpartum depression or anxiety, with the news stories where we see postpartum psychosis, which affects 0.1% - 0.2% of new mothers.
Postpartum. anxiety and depression are much more common and prevalent, affecting 1 in 5 new mom's. Many of these mom's are hyperaware of any harm coming to her baby, and why she may experience increased anxiety and OCD related to the safety of her baby. We are not hearing about it enough as there is still so much shame in mom's disclosing. Even though we know anxiety and depression after pregnancy is the number one complication of childbirth.
There is no one cause for perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. Women who develop depression or anxiety around childbearing have symptoms that are caused by a combination of psychological, social, and biological stressors and hormonal fluctuations. Developing a perinatal mood and anxiety disorder is not your fault. You did not do anything to “get” this. Know that you are not alone!
You can still experience symptoms related to a Perinatal Mood & Anxiety Disorder after the first year, especially if identification and treatment were delayed. Symptoms can be identified as early as pregnancy, or within the first year postpartum, but were not aware of what they may be experiencing as they were adjusting to having a new baby. It is often a spouse or family member that notices the mother is not acting quite like herself. Early intervention is key, and sometimes it takes an ongoing and frequent evaluation of symptoms by a nurse practitioner, psychiatrist, psychologist or therapist.
Sometimes unforeseen events may occur during labor and childbirth even with the best of care. Perhaps you felt a little different or just not yourself after a childbirth complication. Women may attribute traumatic childbirth to lack of control, communication, and emotional support, extreme fear, helplessness, unnecessary interventions, and inability to obtain desired interventions such as analgesia.
Trauma is a subjective report from the woman’s interpretation of the experience or event, which may or may not result in a PTSD diagnosis. Majority of women are able to process through their trauma, especially with help; only 3% - 9% are diagnosed with postpartum PTSD. Factors that contribute to postpartum PTSD include postpartum depression, subjective interpretation of birth experience, depression in pregnancy, operative birth, fear of childbirth, PTSD history, and lacking social support especially after a traumatic birth. Reaching out to family, friends, healthcare providers, and support groups are a great way to find that social support!