No one expects depression, anxiety, obsessions, or other mood disorders while pregnant or following the birth of a baby (now referred to as Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorder or PMAD), but it happens.
1 in 7 women suffer from postpartum depression (Postpartum.net)
1 in 10 fathers showed signs of moderate or severe postpartum depression (Aug 2006 Pediatrics).
Years ago I struggled with postpartum obsessions (one of the forms of PMADs) following the birth of my children. Even though I knew about postpartum depression I was afraid and embarrassed to talk to anyone about my obsessive thoughts. So I suffered in silence. In fact, it took over 20 years for me to even feel comfortable telling anyone about my obsessions.
Experts recognize that these are treatable and often preventable mental health issues. Please talk to your health care provider if you have any symptoms that concern you. You don't have to suffer in silence.
And know that the support of a Many Mothers volunteer can help with some of the recommended ways to prevent PMADs:
Social and emotional support
On Tuesday, June 22nd, Kimmie Garner and Sascha Anderson will be talking at our volunteer meeting about PMAD's. If you are not a volunteer with us, but would like to learn more please come. The meeting is scheduled from noon to 1 pm at the United Way Early Learning Center at 3164 Agua Fria.
Kimmie became a volunteer with Postpartum Support International in 2012 and has since been providing emotional and community resource support by telephone and/or email to affected women and their families in the various states in which she has lived. She also focused on perinatal social work in her MSW program, which specifically encapsulated exploring academically and through her practicum the integration of social workers into outpatient Ob/Gyn clinics to enhance screening for PMADs and outpatient lactation support.
Sascha shares openly and honestly about her struggles with PMAD's following the birth of her children. She experienced perinatal mood and anxiety disorders via postpartum depression, anxiety, and OCD following pregnancy loss and the birth of her two daughters. She has been fortunate enough to access a number of tools and services for women with PMAD and is passionate about sharing her experience with PMAD and throughout her recovery. It's just one experience, but it's mine, and I'm pretty proud of it. :) I also blog about my experience with PMAD and parenting at thisfamilyanderson.com.