At times, this can be a quiet secret, riddled with shame for those experiencing it. Antenatal and Postpartum Depression and Anxiety is prevalent but not discussed enough. Due to the lack of discussion around this topic, people suffering can go without support and resources. According to the “2020 Mom Project” , there are numerous barriers to screening and assisting those in need to adequate resources. It is important that if you are suffering from this, that you receive support.
The Baby Blues
80% of women report struggling with this after the birth of their baby. It involves feelings of sadness, crying episodes, and mental fog and confusion. This can also be prevelant during pregnancy as well.
Pregnancy and Postpartum Depression
20% of women will suffer from clinical depression during or after their pregnancy. They will have the following symptoms:
- Sadness, Hopelessness
- Anxiety and Panic
- Regret over pregnancy
- Trouble sleeping
- Think family would be better off without her
- Fear of leaving the house
- Anger and irritability
- Fear of harming self or baby
- Unable to cope with daily tasks
- Difficulty concentrating
- Feeling out of control
Pregnancy and Postpartum Anxiety
10-15% of women will experience anxiety disorders during or after their pregnancy. They could struggle with the following:
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder – Excessive worry or anxiety
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder – Obsessions or thoughts that persist, usually about hurting the baby or feelings of a need to do ritualistic behaviors that are difficult to control.
- Panic Disorder – Extreme anxiety, with strong physical symptoms that usually relate to a certain place or events.
Less than 5% will experience this severe mental health disorder during or after the birth of their child. Symptoms include:
- Extreme confusion
- Distrusting others
- Seeing or hearing things that are not there
- Thoughts of hurting oneself, baby, or others
- Cannot Sleep ( even when exhausted)
- Refusing to eat
*If you are or someone is experiencing Postpartum Psychosis symptoms, seek medical help immediately. This is considered a medical emergency due to the potential for harm to mother or baby.
- Support Groups
- Bright Light Therapies
- Essential Fatty Acids
- Mindfulness Meditation
- 6-8 Hours of sleep a night
- Balanced Diet
If you are concerned for yourself or someone you love, please take time to discuss this further with your healthcare provider.