Perinatal mood and anxiety disorders (PMADs) are very common...but
sometimes a mother may be unprepared, feel blind sighted or don’t recognize
it when experiencing a PMAD.
Today let’s talk about if you are at higher risk for experiencing a PMAD.
Twenty percent or 1 out of 5 women are
affected by PMADs!
It is more common than other medical disorders regularly
checked for during pregnancy!
Left untreated, it can have a long lasting impact on mom, baby and
Many moms experience this and are unaware that what they
are going through is a PMAD and that it is treatable.
Many moms think that no other mom is going through this and that
they must be a failure at motherhood.
Many moms may fear the “label” of a PMAD and the stigma surrounding
But the truth about PMADs is…
You are not alone.
You are not a failure.
You can be proactive and in charge of your mental
You can get better with treatment (like any other
You can help break the stigma and speak up so other moms
are empowered to do the same!
Knowing if you are at risk can help you get support and be more aware of
Prenatal depression is the strongest predictor for later
suffering from postpartum depression.
Prenatal anxiety, having depression prior to pregnancy and
experiencing postpartum blues all place you at greater
chance of being affected by postpartum depression. Having a
family history of depression or anxiety can also place
you at risk.
Knowing if you have these predictors, you can seek support from a counselor
proactively before things get worse. You can journal, medicate, eat well
and exercise to help decrease your risk.
Also, you can talk to your healthcare provider if you may benefit from
Poor marital relationships are a risk factor for postpartum depression/
Around two-thirds of couples have a decrease in
relationship satisfaction after delivery!
What can you do? You can be proactive
about how you and your partner will interact after delivery. Based on the
Gottman’s theory there are three key areas for marital
Friendship and intimacy- find daily time to have moments
to talk together
Constructive conflict- approach each other
with kindness and curiosity
Shared meaning- have a ritual together, maybe
a morning hug or morning family walk
Couples counseling can be extremely helpful with this
You don’t have to wait until you are on the brink of splitting up or after
big blow out fights!
Remember you are in this together!
True! Difficult infant temperament is associated with
higher reports of postpartum depression. Temperament is your baby’s
behavioral style. Babies with a “difficult” temperament may have an
irregular schedule, cry often, are collicky, and not sleep well.
Get support with a doula or your pediatrician and learn
more about your baby’s temperament. You can learn to change your
Remember that is not all you and that you are doing your best.
Don’t think of yourself as failing at this…it is a challenge and you will
get through this!
If you need a break, ask a friend or family to help out. Go for a walk,
take some moment for yourself!
All of the above!
Stress can contribute to risk for postpartum depression/anxiety. Stress can
be in the form of recent difficult life events such as job loss, not enough
social support and stress over childcare.
Try to :
Reach out to friends and family for support and childcare.
Invest in a night nurse or doula for help.
Join a peer support group of new moms.
Low self-esteem has also been associated with
If you already had low self-esteem , pregnancy and postpartum can further
Working with a counselor can really help if you are
aware that you suffer from this.
Other things that you can do postpartum is show yourself some self-love and
Give yourself a break!
Acknowledge the positive things about yourself!
Let go of the guilt!
Give yourself credit for things you do!
Identify and challenge your negative beliefs about yourself.
Incorporate daily movement into your day.
Take on challenges but learn to say no when needed.
True! If your brain is sensitive to hormonal changes
then you may be more likely to experience postpartum depression/anxiety
after delivery due to the sudden hormonal drop of estrogen and
Be aware of symptoms and get support or screened if you need!
False! Perfectionist or “type A” traits are risk factors
for developing postpartum depression/ anxiety.
Acknowledge if you have these tendencies and know that you cannot control
your postpartum journey. Be flexible and fluid. Working with a therapist
can be a great way to be proactive!
Other risk factors include:
Complicated pregnancy (hyperemesis, gestational diabetes,
History of previous trauma ( abuse, violence, pregnancy loss or
Health issues or chronic pain or change in health due to pregnancy
Having multiples or premature birth or baby in the NICU
Being proactive can go a long way to help your postpartum mental
Be aware of what risk factors you may have and talk to your
Make sure you and your partners are aware of symptoms.
Most importantly seek treatment and support when you need it!
MaternalWell mental health counselors are here if you need and as always contact our text support for any general questions.