A woman may hear how motherhood will change her life forever. Indeed. But what is often not said is that some of these changes will be profoundly disquieting, often launching her into a crisis, the likes of which she has never known.
Most of us have heard about the more common perinatal mood and anxiety disorders such as postpartum anxiety and postpartum depression. But, there are also less common PMADs that may show up during pregnancy and postpartum. In this blog, I’ll be sharing some information about the symptoms to look out for regarding these less common PMADs.
**All the following statistics are from Postpartum Support International (PSI).
Postpartum Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Approximately 3-5% of new moms will experience symptoms of postpartum OCD, which is an anxiety disorder characterized by obsessions (intrusive thoughts) and compulsions (repetitive behaviors).
Postpartum Panic Disorder
Postpartum panic disorder is another anxiety disorder where moms experience panic attacks.
Postpartum Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Around 9% of all moms experience Postpartum PTSD after giving birth. Symptoms of postpartum PTSD may include:
- Replaying the trauma in your mind
- Nightmares and difficulty sleeping
- Avoiding things related to the trauma
- Heightened startle response
- Anxiety and panic
- Feeling detached and disconnected
Postpartum Bipolar Mood Disorders
Many moms are first diagnosed with bipolar mood disorders during pregnancy and postpartum, and symptoms include: depression and mania or hypomania, and fluctuating highs and lows.
Postpartum psychosis occurs in about 1-2 out of every 1,000 birth moms, and most often starts suddenly during the first two weeks postpartum, and may include hallucinations, delusions and paranoia. Postpartum psychosis is a very serious disorder where the mom is having a break from reality and needs immediate medical intervention.
Did You Know…
About 10% of dads get depression and about 18% have an anxiety disorder during the perinatal period. So, be on the lookout for mental health symptoms your partner may be experiencing this perinatal period as well.
Think about what pregnancy or postpartum symptoms you are currently experiencing. Please reach out to your doctor or a perinatal mental health certified therapist (PMH-C) in your area to further discuss these symptoms with a professional.