Pregnancy and Postpartum Mental Health

I recently had a good friend of mine call me to share her experiences with PPD and to ask me about my own.  In telling her my story I realized how this is still such an issue of confusion and shame for many women.

So this month I will be diving in to more information on postpartum mood disorders-what they are,  as well as natural and allopathic ways to address them.  Does anyone out there have a story or personal experience they want to share?  I will be posting my own experience with PPD later this week.

The following link is from one of my favorite sites regarding postpartum mood disorders: http://www.postpartum.net. It is a great site for information on PPMD for families and professionals.

Get the Facts.

Women of every culture, age, income level and race can develop perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. Symptoms can appear any time during pregnancy and the first 12 months after childbirth. There are effective and well-researched treatment options to help you recover. Although the term “postpartum depression” is most often used, there are actually several forms of illness that women may experience, including:

Pregnancy (also called antepartum) or Postpartum Depression. A woman with PPD might experience feelings of anger, sadness, irritability, guilt, lack of interest in the baby, changes in eating and sleeping habits, trouble concentrating, thoughts of hopelessness and sometimes even thoughts of harming the baby or herself. Learn more about PPD, including risk factors, symptoms and treatment options.

Pregnancy (also called antepartum) or Postpartum Anxiety. A woman with PPA may experience extreme worries and fears, often over the health and safety of the baby. Some women have panic attacks and might feel shortness of breath, chest pain, dizziness, a feeling of losing control, and numbness and tingling. Learn more about PPA, including risk factors, symptoms and treatment options.

Pregnancy or Postpartum Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. Women with PPOCD can have repetitive, upsetting and unwanted thoughts or mental images (obsessions), and sometimes they need to do certain things over and over (compulsions) to reduce the anxiety caused by those thoughts. These moms find these thoughts very scary and unusual and are very unlikely to ever act on them. Learn more about PPOCD, including risk factors, symptoms and treatment options.

Postpartum Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. PPTSD is often caused by a traumatic or frightening childbirth, and symptoms may include flashbacks of the trauma with feelings of anxiety and the need to avoid things related to that event. Learn more about PPTSD, including risk factors, symptoms and treatment options.

Postpartum Psychosis. PPP sufferers sometimes see and hear voices or images that others can’t, called hallucinations. They may believe things that aren’t true and distrust those around them. They may also have periods of confusion and memory loss, and seem manic. This severe condition is dangerous so it is important to seek help immediately. Learn more about PPP, including risk factors, symptoms and treatment options.

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