Postpartum Mood Disorders: The BirthCircle Podcast
I recently sat down with Sarah from the BirthCircle podcast to discuss postpartum mood disorders and other women’s issues surrounding pregnancy and birth. Here are some highlights from our conversation:
While almost every woman experiences the baby blues after giving birth to a child, clinical postpartum disorders are more serious and require more attention. They can include postpartum depression, postpartum OCD, and postpartum psychosis. The physical and emotional pressures of motherhood combined with hereditary factors may mean that a new mom feels intense sadness or hopeless, exhibits obsessions or compulsions (such as having to check on the baby a certain number of times per day), or even experiences paranoia or hallucinations. Losing interest in things that you once enjoyed and even having intrusive thoughts of harming your baby or yourself are other signs to watch out for.
The important thing to understand about postpartum mood disorders is that there is hope. Finding a mental health professional who uses cognitive behavioral therapy and finding the right medication with your provider can alleviate the symptoms and help you feel like yourself again. Also, working with a partner to address expectations and how both individuals can take care of the home and the new baby can help alleviate stress.
Pregnancy and birth are very sacred experiences, but I believe we can do a better job in normalizing some of the challenges they bring to a woman. It’s okay to feel ambivalent about motherhood and a new baby, and culturally, we can better help support women and families during and after pregnancy.
Listen to our full discussion above!
Dynamic self & relationship expert Dr. Julie de Azevedo Hanks, LCSW loves to make a difference for women. She owns Wasatch Family Therapy and regularly contributes to KSL TV's Studio 5, and her advice has been featured nationally including Wall Street Journal, Parenting, Fox News, and others. Connect on Facebook & Twitter. Her books The Burnout Cure and The Assertiveness Guide are now available.