Perinatal Mental Health Disorders

What are Perinatal Mental Health Disorders?

Perinatal mental health disorders, also known as perinatal mood and anxiety disorders (PMADs), are a group of mental health conditions that can occur during pregnancy or postpartum. These disorders encompass a range of emotional struggles such as depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and in more severe cases, conditions like postpartum psychosis. Perinatal mental health disorders can affect individuals regardless of their background, and they are more common than often realized. These challenges can arise due to hormonal changes, stress, sleep deprivation, prior mental health history, or the challenges associated with pregnancy, childbirth, and navigating parenthood. Seeking support and treatment is crucial for both the well-being of the individual experiencing these disorders and for the overall health of the family unit.

Signs and Symptoms of Perinatal Mental Health Disorders

(This list is not comprehensive. If you are struggling, please reach out so we can help assess what challenges you are currently experiencing.)
It’s important to note that experiencing some of these symptoms doesn’t necessarily mean someone has a perinatal mental health disorder, but if these feelings persist and interfere with daily functioning, seeking help from a mental health professional is recommended.

At BJRCC we offer expert support for a wide range of perinatal mental health challenges:

Perinatal Depression

More than just the “Baby Blues,” Perinatal Depression involves persistent feelings of sadness, loss of interest, and changes in appetite and sleep patterns. Individuals may experience fatigue, guilt, worthlessness, and in some cases, recurrent thoughts of death or even suicidal ideation. If these symptoms last for more than two weeks, it may be an indication of perinatal depression.

Perinatal Anxiety

Perinatal Anxiety manifests as excessive worry, fear, and restlessness, often leading to poor concentration and sleep disturbances. New parents may find themselves feeling overwhelmed and anxious about their baby’s health and well-being. It is essential to recognize these symptoms and seek support to manage perinatal anxiety effectively.

Perinatal OCD

Perinatal Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) involves intrusive and distressing thoughts or images that go against an individual’s values and beliefs. The person may engage in compulsive behaviors as a way to alleviate anxiety. Understanding that these thoughts do not equate to harmful actions is crucial, and seeking professional help can offer effective coping strategies.

Birth Trauma

Some people have distressing experiences while giving birth. These experiences may be physical or emotional in nature. Unprocessed birth trauma can lead to a range of emotional responses, impacting mental well-being. It’s crucial for individuals experiencing these challenges to seek support from mental health professionals who can provide guidance, validation, and coping strategies tailored to their specific needs.

The NICU Experience

Having a baby in the NICU can be an overwhelming and emotionally intense experience for parents. Many parents may face unexpected stress, grief, and feelings of isolation during this time. The NICU journey can lead to feelings of anxiety, sleep deprivation, and a sense of loss for the expected and envisioned birth experience. Our therapists are here to provide a safe and supportive space to process these emotions and find ways to cope with the challenges you may encounter.

How we help:

At BJRCC, our team of compassionate therapists provides understanding and evidence-based treatments to support individuals and families during this transformative journey into parenthood.
You are not alone in your struggles, and seeking help can lead to a healthier and more fulfilling experience. Embrace the joys of becoming a parent with the support you deserve. Contact us today to start your journey with us.
Perinatal mental health disorders are serious conditions that can improve when the proper support is received. If you think you or a loved one may be experiencing this, reach out today. We are here to help.