The birth of a child is one of the most significant events in a parent’s life. A parent can feel a mixture of different emotions. They may feel blessed, excited, and ecstatic.
Pregnancy and childbirth can also bring negative emotions like anxiety, depression, and not feeling good enough.
There are a lot of changes that take place in a woman’s body and in the home when a child is born. These changes can also bring on changes in the mother and father’s mood, thoughts, and feelings that can have a negative impact on their daily life and routine.
Pregnancy and childbirth are most often associated with feelings of happiness, but let’s get real about some of the other not so widely talked about effects of childbirth.
Let’s learn more about perinatal or postpartum mood and anxiety disorder and the treatment options for it.
What is a PMAD?
You’ve probably heard of postpartum depression before, but have you heard of PMAD? PMAD stands for Perinatal or Postpartum Mood and Anxiety Disorder. It is a common term used to describe the mental health disorder that individuals can experience during pregnancy, after having a baby, after adopting, or after experiencing the loss of an infant.
The Signs and Symptoms
These are some of the most common signs and symptoms of perinatal or postpartum mood and anxiety disorder:
- Difficulty falling asleep
- Difficulty staying asleep
- Easily irritated, aggravated, and annoyed
- Feelings that things won’t be the same or return to normal
- Not feeling like yourself
- Sense of nervousness, especially around their baby
- Suicidal ideation
- Trouble thinking clearly
What Causes a PMAD?
There isn’t one specific cause of PMAD. Any expecting or new parent can experience PMAD. PMAD isn’t exclusive to just women either. This mental health disorder can have a negative impact on both the mother and the father. Although there isn’t one main cause of PMAD, there are several factors that can increase the risk of it:
- Birth or pregnancy complications
- Difficulty getting pregnant
- Family history of depression
- Little to no social support
- Pregnant with twins or multiple babies
- Preterm pregnancy
- Stressful life events
- Young parent
What is Perinatal Mood Therapy?
Many parents feel like they need to have it all figured out. You may see your family, friends, neighbors, or strangers who seem to have it all together. Keep in mind that you’re only seeing what they want you to see. When you scroll on social media and see those perfectly curated family photos, you only see highlight reels.
PMAD and postpartum depression are both extremely common. You’re not alone if you’re struggling with a mood disorder during pregnancy or postpartum. Therapy can be a great way for you to better understand your journey into being a parent. Working with a licensed and trained mental health professional can help you replace those unrealistic expectations with more suitable expectations and goals that you can actually reach.
Perinatal mood therapy can help you gain a deeper perspective into all of the ups and downs of being the parent and partner you’ve dreamed of being.
If you’re struggling with PMAD or another mood disorder, don’t be afraid to reach out for additional support. As a new parent, you just want what’s best for your child. You want to make sure they’re safe, happy, and healthy. We want the same for both your child and you included!
Your and your child’s safety, happiness, and health are our main priorities. Whenever you’re ready, we’re here for you. Don’t delay in getting the help you need and deserve. Reach out to us today to set up a consultation for perinatal mental health.