Postpartum Mood Disorders

What I Want My Family & Friends to Know About Perinatal Mood Disorder

I sent a message to my family and friends today because I want to spread awareness among people who don’t need to know they need awareness!  Most people who read my blog or who have connected with me on social media are already a step ahead – they are seeking information about hormone topics for some reason or another.   I thought I’d share it with you too.  I appreciate all of your support as I try to create awareness around women’s hormone health.  Thanks!  
Today is the First World Maternal Mental Health Day! This is REALLY Important to me on a personal level.
I am spending my day spreading awareness because I suffered from Perinatal Mood Disorder, probably with each pregnancy but definitely after my baby boy. I usually reserve my oversharing 🙂 for my Hormone Soup page but this is really important to me and it is so important to end the stigma around this debilitating illness.
My kids are learning about Mental Health this week at school and my guys are already well informed about Maternal Mental Health Awareness because we talk openly about it at my house. I never want my kids to feel like their mental health is less important than their physical health. My 9 year old son asked me if I could print off the Hormone Soup Perinatal Mood Disorder jpgs that I am sharing on Facebook and Twitter so he could take them to school!  Love that kid!
Here’s what I want all my friends and family to know: (That includes the men too! Maternal Mental Health is EVERYBODY’s business.)
  • Perinatal Mood Disorders are the #1 Complication of Pregnancy!
  • Perinatal Mood Disorders are an Invisible illness!
  • Postpartum Depression is NOT JUST depression – it can manifest as Anxiety (pick me!), OCD (me again), Bipolar, Psychosis, PTSD and can involve mood swings. And in fact Anxiety is more common than depression. Perinatal Mood Disorder is a much better term.
  • Postpartum Depression is NOT JUST postpartum – it can happen during pregnancy too.
  • Up to 20% of women will deal with some form of Perinatal Mood Disorders. That is 1 in 5! You are not alone!
  • Perinatal Mood Disorder is not the same as Baby Blues. It can be a serious and sometimes life threatening emergency.
  • If you have Perinatal Mood Disorder or ANY mood disorder you MUST get your thyroid checked! And by that I mean PROPERLY checked not just a simple TSH Test. There is a specific disorder called Postpartum Thyroiditis and is treatable.
  • Perinatal Mood Disorders are treatable!
  • Perinatal Mood Disorders are considered a hormonally triggered mood disorder.
  • Perinatal Mood Disorder can happen to New Moms and Veteran Moms! Don’t assume because someone is having a second or third or fourth child that she isn’t suffering. Every pregnancy is different. Every mom is at risk.
  • Sometimes the person experiencing the PND is the last person to recognize it! Do not be afraid to reach out.
  • Many women are afraid to get help because they think they will be given a pill and have to stop breastfeeding. There is help available that does not always have to include pharmaceuticals.
  • Do not assume you or your friend will be screened by your doctor. You probably won’t be – just because it is recommended that your doctor screens does not mean it happens, it hardly ever does.
  • If you know someone is experiencing Postpartum Psychosis call 9-1-1 it is considered a medical emergency!
  • Do not share your “scary/tragic baby or mother” story with other women – it can act as a trigger and who needs to hear such devastating stories anyway.
  • There is a movement called #askher happening.  When you know someone who has recently given birth, miscarried or had a stillborn child #Askher how she’s sleeping or how she’s feeling. Do Not be afraid.
  • Sleep is one of the most important factors and one of the easiest things to do – help a new mom get the sleep she needs. 
There are lots of resources out there and I know almost all of them through my blogging and social media connections. Please feel free to reach out or send anyone you know to my Hormone Soup blog or Facebook or Twitter or Pinterest page.
#maternalMHmatters #askher