Postpartum Mood Disorder (PPMD) Facts
The birth of a baby should be a joyful time, yet for some women it can bring feelings of deep uncertainty, anxiety, confusion and a range of many other emotions. Sometimes, these feelings represent Postpartum Mood Disorder (PPMD). If you are diagnosed with PPMD, know that St.Vincent Women’s Hospital has resources to help.
The Facts about PPMD
- PPMD can strike anyone after the birth of your baby regardless of whether you are a first time mother or have had previous pregnancies.
- 50 – 80 percent of women will experience the “baby blues” during the first two to three weeks after the baby arrives.
- One in eight women will develop some form of Postpartum Mood Disorder.
- Women who have a history of PPMD have a 50 percent chance of having another episode with future pregnancies.
- Women who have a history of depression or anxiety are at a higher risk for Postpartum Mood Disorder.
Read more PPMD facts
At St.Vincent Women’s Hospital, we offer programs and support services to women and their families affected by PPMD. The PPMD facts below can help you learn more about this condition including the symptoms, risk factors, and treatment options. We also offer a variety of community resources including:
24–Hour Stress Line
For emergency evaluation and referral, call the St.Vincent Stress Center at (317) 338-4800.
Counseling and Education
One of our licensed social workers, Lisa Hill, MSW, LCSW, is available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. to discuss your individual needs and concerns. Lisa can be reached at (317) 415-7676. If you’d like more information on PPMD, you can contact Lisa to receive a mother/family information packet.
Treatment and Recovery
The St.Vincent Stress Center offers partial hospitalization, as well as intensive in patient and out patient treatment services. The Stress Center also provides emergency evaluation and referrals. Call (317) 338-4600 for more information.
Facts About Postpartum Mood Disorder
Postpartum Mood Disorders range in severity and can include depression, anxiety, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and psychosis. These are all serious illnesses and while long-term effects are rare, PPMD can have very serious consequences. Each year, PPMD causes:
- A small number of women to commit suicide
- A small number of children to die at the hands of their mother
- Hundreds of women to be hospitalized
- Hundreds of families to be torn apart
PPMD strikes all segments of society. Although not well understood, PPMD has many risk factors including:
- Past history of depression
- Traumatic pregnancy and/or birth
- Hormone imbalances
- Poor social support
- High stress
Each woman’s experience with PPMD is different. Typical symptoms include:
- Loss of appetite
- Extreme fatigue
- Anxiety attacks
- Inability to cope
- Feelings of inadequacy
- Feelings of detachment
- Obsessive thoughts
- Feelings of hopelessness
PPMD is Treatable
Postpartum Mood Disorder is a treatable illness. As you prepare for the birth of your baby, here are some important steps you can take right now:
- Take the PPMD quiz:
- Discuss PPMD with your physician.
- Find a local support group. St.Vincent Women’s Hospital offers a PPMD Support Group every Tuesday evening. Call (317) 415-7676 for more information.
- Talk to friends and family about PPMD. You may be surprised to learn that others you know have also managed depression.
- Don’t wait. If mom is in jeopardy of hurting herself or the baby, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.
Dads and Care Partners Play an Important Role
When a mother is suffering from PPMD, Dads and Care Partners play a very important role. In fact, Dads are often the first to realize that something is wrong and are often required to intervene in an emergency. Dads are also:
- Best positioned to monitor treatment on a daily basis
- Often required to assume more responsibility for well being of family
- Have the most at stake in her getting well
Most importantly, Dads can offer something that you can’t get from a bottle, physician, book or even the Internet – love.
For more information about PPMD, talk with your doctor or visit www.postpartum.net or www.postpartumdads.org.