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Maternal Mental Health
perinatal mental health

Every pregnancy and new baby brings both joy and challenges – including lots of emotional ups and downs for mothers and other family members. Many women experience weepiness and mood swings – often called the baby blues - in the first weeks after delivery. This is normal and usually goes away without treatment in 2-3 weeks. However, some women develop more serious perinatal mood disorders including prenatal or postpartum depression or anxiety. These can begin any time during pregnancy or the first year after delivery.

Women who develop prenatal or postpartum depression or anxiety do not need to feel ashamed or alone. Perinatal mood disorders are common; treatment and support are available. The first step is to reach out for help.

 

Did you know . . .?

  • Depression is the most common complication of childbirth. One in four Oregon women report symptoms of prenatal or postpartum depression.
  • Perinatal mood and anxiety disorders can occur anytime during pregnancy or the first year postpartum.
  • Most women (80%) experience emotional swings and weepiness, often called the “Baby Blues,” in the first few weeks after delivery. This is normal and usually resolves in a few weeks without treatment.
  • Perinatal mood disorders include: prenatal or postpartum depression or anxiety, postpartum obsessive-compulsive disorder, birth-related post-traumatic stress disorder, and a severe but rare condition called postpartum psychosis.
  • Dads, partners, adoptive parents, and foster parents can also experience depression or anxiety after the arrival of a new child. All parents need support and extra care during this transition.
  • Untreated perinatal mood and anxiety disorders can impact a mother’s ability to care for herself, relate to others, bond with her infant, and parent her older children.
  • Children of depressed mothers are at risk for serious health, developmental, emotional, behavioral, and learning problems that can last for many years.