Risk Factors for Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders

mom with perinatal mood and anxiety disorder

One in seven women experience mood disturbances during or after pregnancy. The perinatal period is a difficult time for a lot of women and many of them suffer in silence. Perinatal mood and anxiety disorders are considered the number one complication of childbirth. It can affect anyone at any time from conception through the first year after giving birth.

There are factors that increase a woman’s risk of developing postpartum depression and anxiety.

  • A personal or family history of depression or anxiety
  • Significant mood reactions to hormonal changes (like puberty, PMS, hormonal birth control)
  • Complicated or difficult pregnancy
  • Complications with breastfeeding
  • Abrupt weaning from breastfeeding
  • History of infertility
  • Chronic sleep deprivation
  • Traumatic birth experience
  • Lack of support from partner, friends or family
  • Having multiple children under the age of 5
  • Health issues with mom, the baby or both
  • History of pregnancy loss
  • Major life stressors such as the death of a loved one, marital distress, divorce or a recent move

What do the symptoms look like?

You may be feeling….

Angry, irritable
Alone, powerless
Lack of connection with your baby
Regret that you had the baby
Out of control and not yourself
Like you’re a bad mother
Like you’re “going crazy”

The most important thing you need to know is that you are not alone nor are you to blame. Without treatment, this does not resolve on its own. Postpartum Support International has lots of resources available. With help, you will be well because this is treatable and there’s no need to suffer. If you need support in figuring out your next steps, contact me to schedule a complimentary consultation.

Kerri-Anne Brown

Kerri-Anne Brown

Hi, I'm Kerri-Anne and I'm a licensed mental health counselor in Orlando, FL. I help individuals and couples who are living with fertility challenges, perinatal loss, birth trauma and difficulties with postpartum adjustments. Please feel free to reach out anytime.

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