There are a number of maternal mental health issues that can crop up from before conception until after a baby is born. Although these mood irregularities are fairly common, it can be shocking and guilt-inducing for new moms to experience parenthood as anything but a joy. But in talking about these issues, we can change attitudes about maternal mental health for the better.
The World Health Organization estimates that around the world, approximately 10 percent of pregnant women and 13 percent of women who have recently given birth suffer from a mental health disorder like depression. In developing nations, the rates of maternal mental illness are projected to be higher, affecting an estimated 15.6 percent of pregnant women and 19.8 percent of new mothers.
Though most of us have heard of "postpartum depression" or "baby blues," the term "perinatal mood and anxiety disorders," or PMAD, is being used more often these days to address the spectrum of mood imbalances that may affect women not just after giving birth but during pregnancy. The March of Dimes estimates that PMAD affects up to one in seven women, all told.
Here are six mental health disorders that affect women who are preparing for pregnancy, already pregnant, or postpartum — and how to get help managing them.
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