Perinatal Mood Disorders
Pregnancy and postpartum mental health disorders are common, treatable medical conditions.
One in five women and birthing people will experience distressing emotional reactions during pregnancy and the first year after childbirth. These emotional conditions also affect fathers/partners and those who have adopted or suffered perinatal loss.
The Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Questionnaire helps mothers and fathers determine whether they are suffering from a pregnancy or postpartum mental health disorder. You complete the questionnaire anonymously online. Scores over 10 indicate the likelihood of anxiety or depression. Answers other than “never” to question 10 suggest you should call your healthcare provider right away.
Common pregnancy and postpartum mental health disorders include:
Symptoms include feeling anxious, sleeping too much or not at all, irritability, anger, guilt, shame, appetite changes, and possible thoughts of harming the baby or yourself.
Symptoms of perinatal OCD can include persistent thoughts or images, compulsive behaviors, or a sense of horror over certain thoughts.
Parents with perinatal bipolar disorder are at a significantly higher risk of experiencing psychosis, particularly if they are not taking medication and are extremely sleep deprived.
Symptoms of perinatal PTSD include distressing memories, irritability, hypervigilance, and efforts to avoid reminders of the trauma.
Symptoms of perinatal depression include sadness, loss of interested and fatigue. It may often occur with anxiety symptoms and irritability/anger.
Perinatal psychosis symptoms include having strange beliefs, hallucinations, irritability, inability to sleep, mood changes, and poor decision-making.
Seek Help When:
- Your symptoms affect your relationship with your baby and your family.
- Feeling alone, ashamed, or the support of family and friends is not enough.
- You believe that things are getting worse, not better.