Peripartum/Postpartum Mental Health and Perinatal Loss
It can be upsetting and frightening to have feelings about motherhood that don’t seem “right.” Medical complications, hormonal changes, family history, and lack of social support can all contribute to increases in mental health symptoms before or after pregnancy. Many women also struggle with fertility issues, pregnancy loss, or need support around the decision to terminate a pregnancy.
Common peripartum or postpartum symptoms include:
- Feeling overwhelmed and wondering if you should have become a mother in the first place
- Intense worry that something will go wrong with the pregnancy
- Feeling guilty due to high self-expectations
- Not feeling “bonded” with the baby
- Feeling empty and numb as if you’re just going through the motions
- Lack of focus and concentration
- Being afraid that if you reach out for help, others will judge your inabilities
- Thoughts of running away or leaving your baby behind
- Being constantly in a state of worry
It’s important to know that the changes that occur during and after pregnancy don’t only trigger depression. They can also trigger other types of mental health symptoms like anxiety or obsessive compulsive disorder. A medically traumatic birth or the death of an infant can also cause symptoms of posttraumatic stress. If you think you may be experiencing any of these symptoms, don’t hesitate to reach out.