Coping With Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders

Coping With Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders

By: Taketime4u

December 11, 2017

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If you experience depression or anxiety during your pregnancy or after the birth of your child, you shouldn't blame yourself. You're not alone, and help is available.

mother holding her newborn

Many women experience a variety of mood symptoms after they give birth. In fact, as many as 80 percent of women will experience "baby blues" for a short time after delivery. For other women, however, these symptoms are more severe and can last much longer. Perinatal mood and anxiety disorders (PMADs) affect one in seven mothers.

The symptoms of this condition vary between women. Postpartum depression, anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder are all types of PMADs and can be treated by a healthcare professional.

Working Toward Wellness

A woman experiencing a PMAD may feel exhausted, anxious, irritable, hopeless, restless, distant or suicidal. You may not feel like yourself or feel out of control. If symptoms last more than two weeks, it is important that you speak to your healthcare provider.

Following these tips can help you cope with this condition:

Ask for help. Don't be embarrassed by your feelings. Often a doctor can help relieve your symptoms if you take the first step and seek help. Counseling and medication are options for treatment. Pull in your partner and family members for support and connection.

Results of genetic testing aren't always black and white. Even a positive result-meaning you do carry the mutated gene-isn't a guarantee you'll develop breast cancer during your lifetime. Talking to your genetic counselor can help you decide the best plan.

Seek out others. Support groups and online forums can help you connect with other mothers who are feeling the same way. Acknowledging that you're not alone can be very helpful.

Take care of yourself. If you can, sleep when your baby sleeps, eat a balanced diet and get regular exercise. Being active helps support your physical and mental well-being.

Learn more about getting help for PMADs at St. Vincent.


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