Postpartum Depression & Anxiety | What Are Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders?

PMAD: More Than “Baby Blues”

pmad more than baby blues

Many women can relate to the emotional roller coaster that dominates the first few weeks after a baby is born— who wouldn’t be a mess? Sore, sleep deprived, in a totally new role (even if this is not your first child), hormones are unbalanced and little time to take care of yourself. The term “baby blues” is often used to refer to the mild mood swings occurring after the birth of a child. Nearly 80% of women experience baby blues.
The baby blues is common. Perinatal mood and anxiety disorders are common…but require treatment.

So how do you know if you or a loved one is experiencing something more serious than the baby blues?

Baby blues usually begin a few days postpartum and last about three weeks. Symptoms include moodiness, tearfulness, anxiety, inability to concentrate and sadness. These feelings come and go but the predominant mood is actually happiness.

Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders have an onset any time during pregnancy until three years after the baby is born and symptoms last longer than three weeks. The highest time of risk is six months after childbirth. Symptoms can include excessive worry, sadness, guilt, hopelessness, sleep problems, fatigue, loss of interest in normally pleasurable activities, change in appetite, irritability and difficulty making decisions.

wdt_ID   Baby Blues Perinatal Mood & Anxiety Disorders
1 When it starts… After birth, even while in the hospital Any time during pregnancy or up to three years postpartum
2 How long it lasts… A few days up to three weeks Longer than three weeks
3 Main mood is… Happiness Sadness, anxiety, guilt
4 Other symptoms… • Bouts of moodiness, tearfulness, anxiety and sadness • Inability to concentrate • Scary thoughts • Irritability • Sleep problems • Fatigue • Loss of interest in normally pleasurable activities • Change in appetite • Difficulty making decisions