Pregnancy and childbirth strongly impact a woman’s thoughts and emotions.
Adapting to new parenthood is rarely straightforward. Women may have difficult or overwhelming feelings and disturbing thoughts that interfere with how they function.
Women with postpartum mood changes don’t always experience a negative mood. Some may feel driven, hyperfocused on specific issues or values, or they may display bizarre changes in their beliefs or behaviors.
If trauma or loss are in the mix, the experience may be even more complicated.
It is important to know that pregnancy does not have to be full-term for women to experience postpartum symptoms.
Pregnancy loss or dissolution for any reason can still result in a postpartum mental health episode. Furthermore, women who lose their babies during pregnancy or shortly after birth are at higher risk for experiencing serious postpartum complications.
Early treatment of perinatal and postpartum episodes is important.
The longer a woman goes untreated, the more she is likely to suffer, and the greater the risk of increasingly distressing and disruptive symptoms.
It is critical to work with a provider specially trained in treating these conditions so problematic symptoms are adequately addressed and women get access to the resources that they need.