Frequently Asked Questions

We believe that mood disorders are not your fault. Though they are common, they do not have to be normal. With support, you can be well. 

 

It is our mission at Postpartum Resource Group to address these issues  through our monthly Peer Support Group, our Postpartum Doula Network, and various other opportunities for connection and education.  

 

Together we can raise the standard and reduce the burden of the postpartum season.

For even more resources, visit these other informative websites:

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What is a PMAD?


It stands for “Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorder”, and it encompasses the time period from conception up to one year after birth.




Why is there an increased risk of mood disorders during the perinatal time period?


There is an increased risk due to hormonal changes, physical changes related to pregnancy, stress related to role and relationship shifts, and numerous other individual factors.




How is a Perinatal Mood Disorder different from the “baby blues”?


“Baby Blues” occurs 3-5 days after birth and lasts approximately 2 days-2 weeks and symptoms include tearfulness, exhaustion, and mood lability. Overall the patient is still happy and self-esteem is unchanged. Perinatal Mood Disorder symptoms are more severe, affect self-esteem, endure for a longer time period, and often don’t resolve without some level of intervention.




Is “Postpartum Depression” the only mood disorder diagnosed during the perinatal period?


No, there is a spectrum of disorders that can impact women in the perinatal time period including Depression, Anxiety, Panic Disorder, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, PTSD, and Psychosis.




Who is at risk for having a Perinatal Mood Disorder?


Anyone that conceives a pregnancy has potential for developing a Perinatal Mood Disorder. 1 in 5-7 women are affected. 1 in 10 Fathers are diagnosed with a Mood Disorder in the Perinatal Period. Women who had a PMAD previously are much more likely to have it again, and possibly worse, in future pregnancies. However, with preparation and adequate treatment this is manageable.




What are other factors that increase the risk of a Perinatal Mood Disorder?


There are multiple other factors that increase the risk of having a perinatal mood disorder including: a personal or family history of mood disorders, poverty, other pre-existing health conditions, pregnancy complications, preterm birth, prolonged hospital stay for mom or baby, history of drug/alcohol abuse, inadequate social support, inadequate resources, LGBTQ, and many more.




How are individuals screened for a Perinatal Mood Disorder?


Ideally, all women should be screened for perinatal mood disorders during pregnancy (1st, 2nd and 3rd Trimesters) and throughout the first postpartum year (at 6 weeks postpartum and then every 3 months during medical or pediatric visits). There are different screening tools available including the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale and The Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9).




How are Perinatal Mood Disorders treated?


Perinatal Mood Disorders require individualized treatment which may include social support, community support, therapy, medication, resource assistance, physical activity, and other holistic and complementary modalities.




What is the risk of PMADs if left untreated?


The risks include but are not limited to: relationship issues, exacerbation of medical conditions, poor adhearance to medical advice, child neglect or abuse, childhood developmental delays, drug use, infanticide, homicide, suicide. However, if the mood disorder is noticed and treated, many of these risks can be averted or minimized.





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