Myth: “Baby Blues” and Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders are the same.
Fact: Baby blues, which affects up to 80% of mothers, includes feelings that are somewhat mild, last a week or two, and go away on their own. Perinatal mood and anxiety disorders are mood disorders that affect between 15-20% of women during and up to one year after pregnancy. Because of the severity of the symptoms, PMADs usually require treatment.
Myth: Age, education, culture, and/or socioeconomic status determine a woman’s chances of perinatal depression.
Fact: It can happen to ANY WOMAN!
Myth: Pregnancy reduces the risk of depression in women.
Fact: During pregnancy and after childbirth, the levels of hormones (estrogen and progesterone) in a woman’s body quickly change. This change in brain chemicals can cause mood swings. There are other factors that increase the risk of depression in pregnant and new mothers, such as previous experience with depression or bipolar disorder, a lack of strong emotional support, a stressful life event during pregnancy or shortly after giving birth, and more.
Myth: Having perinatal depression means that a woman is weak and a bad mother.
Fact: A woman is not weak or a bad mother if she has a PMAD. A baby can make you feel isolated, and if you already struggle with depression and/or anxiety, you may feel worse. Talk to someone and get help.
Myth: Perinatal depression can not be treated.
Fact: Postpartum depression is temporary and treatable with professional help.