Facts about Pregnancy and Postpartum Depression and Anxiety

Some women experience pregnancy anxiety or depressionYour emotional health is just as important as your physical health. When you are pregnant, after a baby is born, or while trying to become a parent, you may be more susceptible to emotional challenges. Depression or anxiety during pregnancy or while trying to get pregnant can also lead to emotional challenges after baby comes.

Who will get pregnancy and/or postpartum depression and anxiety?

ANY woman, regardless of her age, education, marital status and income level, can experience these issues. It is NOT her fault. It is a medical condition that can be treated successfully. Women are at more at risk for emotional issues during this time than at any other time in their lives. Our clinicians provide information and support around your physical and emotional health during these trying times.

Up to 25% of women experience postpartum depression and up to 12% of postpartum women develop anxiety. Men can also experience depression and anxiety as they become fathers.

What are the symptoms?

The following are just a few things you may experience:

  • Difficulty breastfeeding
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Panicky feelings
  • Being overwhelmed
  • Irritability and anger with partners
  • Disturbing thoughts
  • Going back to work
  • “Mommy-guilt”

Who is at risk?

Anxiety and/or depression related to pregnancy or parenthood can happen to anyone. Postpartum depression occurs more often than preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, or preterm labor.

The following are factors that can increase the likelihood of depression and anxiety in expecting or new parents:

  • History of infertility, miscarriage, pregnancy or infant loss.
  • Complications during pregnancy, previous or existing medical problems.
  • Women with older children. They may be tired and struggling to keep up with the demands of parenting. They worry how they will care for a newborn with little ones underfoot, or how an older sibling will adjust to a new baby.
  • Difficult birth or unexpected outcomes (miscarriage, NICU, etc.)
  • Previous episode of pregnancy or postpartum depressive or anxiety
  • History of premenstrual mood or anxiety symptoms
  • History of trauma or abuse (physical, emotional, sexual)
  • Unsupportive, critical or absent partner
  • History of trauma or abuse (physical, emotional, sexual)
  • Financial problems
  • Demographics: being under age 25, poor neighborhood, rural area, women of color

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Let’s not forget dads and supporting partners!

Five to ten percent (5-10%) of fathers experience emotional difficulty such as depression or anxiety after becoming parents.