Postpartum Mood and Anxiety Disorders (PMADs) can occur during pregnancy or after the baby is born. These include
· Postpartum Depression (PPD)
· Postpartum Anxiety Disorder (PPA)
· Postpartum Obsession Compulsion Disorder (PPOCD)
· Postpartum Psychosis
· Paternal Postpartum Depression (PPPD)
For women, progesterone and estrogen increase drastically during pregnancy, then drop to none within 24 hours of delivery.
Other hormones increase to induce labor or assist in the delivery, including oxytocin, prolactin, prostaglandins, relaxin, adrenaline and noradrenaline.
As you can imagine, when these hormones decrease rapidly after the birth, they can have a dramatic effect on your mind and body.
In addition, new parents are often sleep deprived as they care for the newborn’s needs 24/7.
Changes to your relationship with your partner, the expectations of others, challenges of breastfeeding, and the realization that your life will never be the same add to the stress that can lead to PMADs.
While any new mom can develop PMADs, there are some factors that might increase your risk.These include:
· A personal or family history of depression and/or anxiety
· History of domestic violence
· Lack of resources and struggles to make ends meet
· Previous pregnancy that ended in loss, such as miscarriage, stillbirth, or abortion.
· History of severe Pre-Menstrual Syndrome (PMS) and/or PMADs
· Traumatic birth
· Eating disorders
· Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
Look for more detail on each of these in my blog posts