Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders

Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders (PMAD) is the term used to describe four emotional conditions occurring during pregnancy and in the first year after giving birth. These four conditions include anxiety and panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, postpartum depression and post traumatic stress disorder. About 20% of women will have PMAD during pregnancy following birth and they may experience one or more of these conditions. PMADs can begin anytime in during pregnancy and anytime in the first year following childbirth. Dads experience PMADs too and are at higher risk when their partners are also experiencing a PMAD. Approximately 10-20% of dads will experience a PMAD.

These factors increase a woman’s risk of having perinatal mood or anxiety disorder:

  • History or presence of emotional problems, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, or depression in self or immediate family member.
  • Traumatic pregnancy or childbirth experience.
  • Recent major stresses – miscarriage(s), death in the family, a move, change or loss of job, marriage, separation or divorce.
  • Unsupportive spouse or partner or no partner.
  • Lack of supportive friends or family.
  • History of severe premenstrual symptoms such as depression, irritability, anger.
  • History of physical, emotional or sexual abuse.
  • History of substance abuse or living with someone who abuses drugs or alcohol
  • Past history of or current eating disorder.
  • Unplanned and unwanted pregnancy.
  • Low self esteem.
  • Poor or absent mother-daughter relationship.
  • Financial pressures.
  • High expectations of yourself with a personal need to be “perfect” and “in control”.
  • Having a “high need” infant or an infant with a chronic medical condition.
  • History of infertility.
  • Thyroid disease.
  • Excessive sleep deprivation

For more information, see Perinatal Support Washington >>. If you need someone to talk to about these issues: call +1-888-404-7763

The DVD Speak Up When You’re Down is available through Parent Trust  video >>
You may also contact our Family Help Line to request Speak Up When You’re Down brochures: 1-800-932-4673