“It’s just the baby blues.” The symptoms of Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders (PMADs) are easy to overlook, minimize, or attribute to the natural difficulties of adjusting to life with a newborn. But PMADs can dramatically impact a birthgiver’s wellness, decrease ability to bond with their babies, and put them at a heightened risk for suicide.
You may have PMADs if you have experienced any of the following during pregnancy or during the first year postpartum:
- Feelings of guilt, sadness, hopelessness, or numbness that did not seem to match your situation.
- Intense fear of something happening to your baby or other loved ones that you did not have prior to pregnancy.
- Shortness of breath, chest pain and fear of losing control or dying (symptoms of panic)
- Changes in your eating, sleeping, and hygiene that are mood dependent. It’s normal to have all of our routines disrupted by a new baby, but if you are struggling to take care of yourself on a regular basis because you feel too down to do so, it could be PMADs.