What would you like to find?

Relax the mind, awaken the spirit

Category: Postpartum Depression

Other-perinatal postpartum-mood-disorders

Other Perinatal/Postpartum Mood Disorders

Postpartum depression is a common complication of childbirth, affecting up to 15 percent of new mothers. Symptoms of postpartum depression can include feeling sad, anxious, or empty; feeling guilty, hopeless, or worthless; having trouble sleeping, eating, or concentrating; or experiencing angry outbursts and mood swings.

However, postpartum depression is not the only mood disorder affecting new mothers. Other perinatal/postpartum mood disorders can occur during pregnancy or after childbirth. They are as follows:


Anxiety is a common symptom during pregnancy, and for some people, it can become more severe during pregnancy or postpartum. Anxiety symptoms may include restlessness or “on edge,” fatigue, difficulty concentrating, irritability, and sleep disturbances.

Perinatal anxiety could be centered around fear of childbirth, adjusting to motherhood, excessive worry about the health and safety of the baby, or financial stressors, to name a few. Anxiety can make taking care of yourself and your baby difficult and may interfere with mother-child bonding.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

OCD is a mental illness characterized by intrusive, unwanted thoughts (obsessions) and repetitive behaviors (compulsions). Perinatal OCD can develop during pregnancy or after childbirth and can be triggered by the stress of caring for a new baby.

Symptoms of OCD can include intrusive thoughts about harm coming to your baby, and compulsive behaviors such as excessive cleaning or checking on your baby. It’s estimated that between 1.7 and 4 percent of women have their OCD onset after childbirth.

Like other perinatal mood disorders, OCD can make caring for yourself and your baby challenging and may interfere with the bonding process.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

PTSD is a mental illness that can develop after exposure to a traumatic or life-threatening event. For some women, the experience of childbirth can be traumatizing and can lead to the development of PTSD.

Symptoms of PTSD include flashbacks, nightmares, difficulty sleeping, irritability, and avoidance of people or situations that remind you of the trauma. People with postpartum PTSD may avoid or delay getting pregnant again or may choose a different delivery method if they do get pregnant again.

Postpartum Psychosis

Postpartum psychosis is a rare but serious mental illness that can develop a few weeks after childbirth. It is characterized by hallucinations, delusions, manic or depressed mood, and erratic behavior. Postpartum psychosis can lead to suicide or infanticide and requires immediate medical treatment.

Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder is a mental illness characterized by extreme and often erratic mood swings. These mood swings can include periods of mania, where you feel an elevated mood and increased energy, and periods of depression, characterized by low mood and decreased energy levels.

For mothers with mild undiagnosed bipolar II disorder, the stress and drastic changes associated with childbirth can cause symptoms to become more pronounced. This can lead to sleep disturbance, irritability, and reckless behavior.

Risk Factors?

Certain risk factors can make new mothers more susceptible to developing perinatal mood disorders. These include:

  • A history of depression or anxiety
  • A family history of depression or anxiety
  • Stressful experiences or complications during pregnancy or childbirth
  • Lack of social support
  • Stressful life events
  • High-risk pregnancy
  • Depression or anxiety during pregnancy
  • Unplanned pregnancy
  • Sleep deprivation

If you have any of the above risk factors, it does not definitively mean that you will develop a perinatal mood disorder. However, it is crucial to be aware of the risk factors and seek help if you are experiencing any symptoms.

Final Thoughts

While having a baby is an amazing experience for most people, it can also come with various challenges, including mood disorders like postpartum depression and anxiety. It’s essential to take care of yourself physically, emotionally, and psychologically and take the necessary steps to get help if you’re struggling to keep up with the challenges of parenthood.


How does postpartum depression affect the family

How Does Postpartum Depression Affect The Family?

Postpartum depression is a type of clinical depression that can occur in the weeks or months following childbirth. While most women experience some form of temporary sadness or “baby blues” after giving birth, postpartum depression is more severe and long-lasting.

What Causes Postpartum Depression?

There is no single cause of postpartum depression. Instead, it’s thought to result from a combination of emotional, biological, and environmental factors. 

The stress of caring for a newborn, lack of enough sleep, and changes in hormone levels can all contribute to postpartum depression in new mothers.

Other factors that can increase the risk for postpartum depression include financial stress, complications during pregnancy or labor, a history of depression, lack of a social support network, unplanned pregnancy, and relationship problems.

Can Postpartum Depression Affect The Whole Family?

It is well established that postpartum depression can have a devastating effect on the mother, both emotionally and physically. But did you know that postpartum depression can also cause a significant impact on the entire family?

Here are some ways that postpartum depression can affect the family:

Problem Bonding with the Baby

One of the most common ways postpartum depression affects the family is by causing bonding impairment between the mother and her baby. The intense sadness, fatigue, and irritability associated with postpartum depression can make it difficult for a mother to feel love or affection for her child.

This can lead to feelings of guilt and inadequacy, and the mother may even become withdrawn and detached from the baby. This deprives the baby of the nurturing, affection, and tender loving care they deserve. It can also cause the baby to interact poorly with others and become socially withdrawn from a young age.

Loss of Livelihood

Severe postpartum depression can make it difficult for a mother to concentrate, make decisions, or even get out of bed in the morning. This can lead to reduced productivity, increased absenteeism from work, and in some cases, job loss. 

The loss of livelihood can have far-reaching financial repercussions and may result in a reduced quality of life for the whole family.

Strained Relationship with Partner

The emotional and physical toll of postpartum depression can strain the mother’s relationship with her partner. The constant moodiness, withdrawn behavior, and lack of intimacy can take a toll on even the strongest of relationships.

Increased Risk of Child Abuse

Unfortunately, postpartum depression can also increase the risk of child abuse. The stress, isolation, and exhaustion associated with postpartum depression can lead to frustration and anger, which may be taken out on the helpless baby.

Unstable Home Environment

In most cases, mothers are the primary caretakers of their families. When a mother is suffering from postpartum depression, the entire family suffers. The home environment can become chaotic, unpredictable, and unstable.

This can be confusing and frightening for children who rely on their parents for stability and security and may reflect in their behavior.

Misplaced Blame

Watching a loved one suffer from postpartum depression can be frustrating and confusing. It is not uncommon for the partner to blame themselves for the mother’s situation. This can lead to feelings of guilt and self-resentment. The partner may also become withdrawn and detached from the family.

Increased Risk For Depression in Fathers

While postpartum depression is most commonly associated with mothers, fathers with infant children are also at an increased risk for depression. This is often due to the stress of becoming a new father, financial worries, and sleep deprivation. The stress and emotional toll of witnessing a loved one’s struggle with postpartum depression can also increase the risk for depression in fathers.

Final Thoughts

Postpartum depression is a serious condition that can negatively affect the whole family. Luckily, it is highly treatable, and most mothers often make a full recovery.

Talk to your doctor if you think you may be suffering from postpartum depression or if you are having trouble controlling your emotions. Remember that seeking treatment is the best thing you can do for yourself and your family.


Call Us