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Prepared for Anything? What You Need to Know About Perinatal Mood & Anxiety Disorders

As a new mother, you are prepared for tons of dirty diapers, multiple loads of laundry, middle of the night feedings, and many new responsibilities that come with parenting. But are you prepared for the possibility of depression and anxiety?

Depression and anxiety can occur both during and after pregnancy. This is known as Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders (PMADs), which refer to mood disorders, such as depression and bipolar disorder, as well as anxiety disorders, such as generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorders. These symptoms can interfere with a mother’s emotional wellness, her ability to bond with her infant and her overall functioning.

According to Postpartum Support International, one in seven women will experience a mood or anxiety disorder within the first-year of delivering a baby. The percentage is even greater for women who are dealing with poverty and twice as likely in teen mothers. And although, 15% of women will experience depression and/or anxiety, many do not seek the help that they need. Becoming a new parent can be stressful and there is a normal adjustment to parenting. What many new mothers fail to realize; however, are that these feelings of depression and anxiety are not uncommon; and therefore, new mothers who experience such challenges should not be ashamed.

If you or someone you know is a parent who is struggling, this is what you need to know:

The Facts:


Approximately 15% of women experience significant depression following childbirth.


  • Feeling down or depressed