1. Postpartum Depression and Anxiety is also know as Perinatal Mood Disorder. Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorder is the clinical term for postpartum depression and postpartum anxiety. Perinatal means the entire timeframe from the beginning of one’s pregnancy up until the first year of parenthood. Regardless of the term you use, medical professionals will know what you are talking about. Perinatal Mood Disorder is the umbrella term, and covers related disorders included: Depression, Bipolar, Generalized Anxiety, Panic, Obsessive, Compulsive Disorder, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
2. Postpartum Depression and Anxiety is no longer considered “Baby Blues” when the symptoms are not resolved after 2 weeks post birth.
3. You did nothing to cause your mood or anxiety disorder. It is caused by a combination of psychological, social, and biological stressors and factors. Just like being susceptible to developing asthma or attention deficit disorder, you are not to blame.
4. Most common signs of postpartum depression and/or anxiety: Feeling sad or depressed, feeling more irritable or angry with those around you, even to the point of experiencing rage, trouble bonding with baby, feeling anxious, overwhelmed, or panicky, trouble with eating or sleeping, upsetting or intrusive thoughts that you can’t get out of your mind, worried you may hurt yourself or baby, feeling out of control. questioning your decision to become a mom.
5. We have all had an intrusive thought one time or another, and it’s extremely common for new moms. “What if I drop my baby?” “What if my baby rolls over the bed?” Thoughts are just thoughts. Thinking these things are normal. Wanting to actually carry out any of these thoughts is not as normal. Sometimes thoughts like these appear because we so badly don’t want to act in this way, and it’s our brain playing out our fear. It’s also our brain’s way of processing the new permanency and responsibility of your baby being a part of your family and your life. Just because you have a thought doesn’t mean you should carry it out, and doesn’t mean it has to be anything more than a thought in your head.How many of us have been stuck in traffic heading over a bridge and wondering what would happen if that truck in front of you lost control? We’ve all been there. This is an intrusive thought. Sometimes just acknowledging that it’s nothing more than a bizarre thought takes away it’s power and the worry of what the thought could mean.
6. Treatment is possible and effective. These feelings and symptoms don’t have to be permanent. Some women find significant success with a combination of social supports (mom support group, family and friends just a call or a short drive away), as well as prescribed medication, talk therapy, exercise and overall good self care. A therapist or support group can help you take the steps and keep you accountable.
7. Thoughts are just thoughts. We all have them. They don’t have to be anything more.
9. There are medications that are nursing and baby friendly. You don’t have to “white knuckle” this. Working with a skilled physician or psychiatrist who has a background in treating mood disorders in new mothers can help you find the right plan for you and your current life setup. The best chance of having a healthy baby is having a healthy mom.
10. You are not alone, and you don’t have to go through this alone. Give us a call to start feeling better today: 610 608 0390.