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Postpartum Resources

Support for Moms with Baby Blues

Every mom needs exceptional care and support. This is especially true if you’re experiencing baby blues - that strange mix of sadness, anxiety or depression during your pregnancy, or in the weeks and months after you give birth.

Despite this, many people, even some doctors and close family members, may not understand what you’re going through. This can lead to additional feelings of frustration and stress. Reach out to a support group, or talk to your physician - you are not alone.

Perinatal Mood & Anxiety Disorders (PMAD)

PMAD is much stronger than baby blues. Rather than general anxiety, you may also experience depression, post-traumatic stress, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) or bipolar disorder. Signs to look out for include:

  • Feeling guilty or worthless
  • Excessive irritability, anger or agitation
  • Fear of being left alone with the baby
  • Anxiety and panic attacks

Doctors are not certain exactly what causes PMAD but it’s often linked to hormonal changes after delivery, as well as feeling overwhelmed, stressed, or an overall sense of losing your identity.

If you or a loved one is experiencing PMAD, it’s important to get help from a professional counselor or behavioral health specialist. In most cases, doctors will recommend a combination of the following treatments:

  • Antidepressants
  • Individual and group counseling
  • Peer support

To better understand the level of care you’ll need, talk with your doctor about your symptoms, or reach out to a support group.

The most severe type of PMAD is postpartum psychosis. It’s considered a psychiatric emergency since it puts women at an increased risk of suicide and harming their infant.

Get help immediately if you’re having any violent thoughts toward yourself or your child. Other signs of postpartum psychosis to look out for, include:

  • Insomnia
  • Rapid mood swings
  • Poor judgment
  • Delusions of infant death
  • Auditory hallucinations
  • Extreme agitation
  • Hyperactivity

Moms with postpartum psychosis must receive immediate treatment with antipsychotic drugs and mood stabilizers. If the condition doesn’t improve with medication, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is often recommended.

If the baby blues are getting you down, call your health care provider today and begin your journey to better and brighter days.

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