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    Perinatal Mood and Anxiety

    Rachel Beier, BSN, RNC-OB Maternal Care Advisor at The Women's Hospital 04/25/2018

    Pregnancy—check
    Delivery—check
    Baby is home—check
    Why do I feel so lost and overwhelmed?  Why am I so nervous about my baby’s health that I can’t sleep unless someone is watching over him?  Why do I feel sad, disconnected, and like no one understands?  What is wrong with me?

    Due to hormone changes after pregnancy, it is common to feel some of the symptoms listed above. These feelings can be described as “the baby blues.”  After 2 weeks, you should feel mostly back to yourself, be able to cope with normal everyday activities, and care for yourself and your baby.  If you are struggling in your new role after this time period, your feelings are classified as a Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorder (PMAD), and they will not go away unless treated.  Your first step is to call your health care provider and discuss your feelings.  He or she will help guide you in the next course of action.  Symptoms of a PMAD may also be felt during pregnancy.

    After all, 1 in 7 women suffer from a perinatal mood and anxiety disorder, so it very prevalent and nothing to be ashamed of.  To see if you may be suffering from postpartum depression, take the online symptom assessment here. If you score between 10 and 30, you should consult with your doctor.

    As Postpartum Support International’s motto says, “You are not alone, you are not to blame, and with help you will get well.” 

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