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Depressive Disorders

Depression that occurs during pregnancy or within a year after delivery is called perinatal depression. Research has shown that depression is one of the most common complications during and after pregnancy. Tiredness, problems sleeping, stronger emotional reactions, hormonal changes, and changes in body weight may occur during or after pregnancy, but these symptoms may also be signs of depression.

Many women experience changes in their feelings and mood during pregnancy, including feeling more tired, irritable or worried. These symptoms can sometimes become severe enough to require treatment by a health provider. Depression and anxiety during pregnancy can worsen and continue into the postpartum period. If feelings of depression or anxiety persist for a few weeks, interfere with daily functioning, or are causing significant distress, it is time to ask for help. 

Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety disorders such as panic disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder appear to be as common as postpartum depression and even coincide with depression. Perinatal anxiety symptoms can include the following: panic attacks, hyperventilation, excessive worry, restless sleep, and repeated thoughts or images of frightening things happening to the baby. 

Similar to what is noted above for depression, it is common for new mothers to be nervous about their new roles as parents. If these concerns impede your ability to function, it is time to seek help. Therapy and medication can be very effective in helping you get back on track with what's important in your life.

 Helpful Websites

Disclaimer:
Partners in Women's Mental Health is not responsible for any errors or omissions, or for the results obtained from the use of information from the following sites. We do believe the organizations we link to to be solid, competent and helpful, but we have no control over the content of their websites.  All information in the following sites is provided “as is”, with no guarantee of completeness, accuracy, timeliness or of the results obtained from the use of this information.

Postpartum Support Virginia (PSVA)

Postpartum Support Virginia provides hope and help to women and their families who are experiencing anxiety, depression, or other perinatal mood and anxiety disorders (PMADs). Click below to be taken to their website for more information on PMADs, support groups and how treatment can help you.

Go to PSVA

Postpartum Support International (PSI)

Postpartum Support International is dedicated to helping families suffering from postpartum depression, anxiety, and distress, and has many resources to help families, providers, and communities learn about the emotional and mental health of childbearing families. Click below to be taken to their website for more information

Go to PSI

Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Women's Mental Health

The mission of The Center for Women’s Mental Health is to provide state-of-the-art evaluation and ongoing care for women who suffer from a spectrum of psychiatric disorders and to improve the lives of patients and their families. Click below to be taken to their website for more information.

Go to MGH

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Treating for Two

Treating for Two is a program that aims to improve the health of women and babies by identifying the safest treatment options for common conditions before, during, and after pregnancy. Click below to be taken to their website for more information.

Go to CDC

4th Trimester Project

Much attention is focused on babies while too often, women are left to navigate their health and care without enough information or support. This website is designed to provide the latest medical evidence and offer real, honest stories to inform postpartum planning.

Go to 4TP