Having a baby is a life-altering experience. Like major life changes, pregnancy, birthing, and early with high points of joy and excitement interspersed with stress and exhaustion. For most women, these highs and lows gradually level out as they adapt to their new roles. Others however, find themselves feeling increasingly anxious, depressed, irritable, and isolated. Approximately 1 in 5 women will develop a clinically significant mood or anxiety problem within the first year of delivery. Despite this high occurrence, perinatal mood and anxiety problems often go unrecognized and untreated, which can have significant consequences for the woman, her baby, and her family.
Although the term postpartum depression or PPD is often used to refer to all mood and anxiety problems associated with pregnancy and childbirth, pregnant and the postpartum women may develop the same mental health problems as any other adult women. The most common of these include prenatal stress, anxiety or depression; postpartum depression; panic disorder; obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD); posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD); and bipolar disorder. A small number of women (less than 1%) experience postpartum psychosis, another more serious type of mental health problem.
Read more about HOPE →