What is Post-Traumatic Disorder?

Approximately 1 – 6% of women experience postpartum post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) following childbirth. Most often, this illness is caused by a real or perceived trauma during delivery or postpartum. These traumas could include: prolapsed cord; unplanned C-section; use of vacuum extractor or forceps to deliver the baby; baby going to neonatal intensive care unit (NICU); feelings of powerlessness, poor communication, and/or lack of support and reassurance during the delivery; experiencing a previous trauma, such as rape or sexual abuse, are also at a higher risk for experiencing postpartum PTSD; experiencing a severe physical complication or injury related to pregnancy or childbirth, such as severe postpartum hemorrhage, unexpected hysterectomy, severe preeclampsia/eclampsia, perineal trauma (3rd or 4th degree tear), or cardiac disease.

Symptoms

Symptoms of postpartum PTSD might include:

  • Intrusive re-experiencing of a past traumatic event (which in this case may have been the childbirth itself)

  • Avoidance of stimuli associated with the event, including thoughts, feelings, people, places and details of the event

  • Persistent increased arousal (irritability, difficulty sleeping, hypervigilance, exaggerated startle response)

  • Feeling a sense of unreality and detachment

  • Flashbacks or nightmares

  • Anxiety and panic attacks

Treatment

Postpartum PTSD is temporary and treatable with professional help. If you feel you may be suffering from this illness, know that it is not your fault and you are not to blame. Please visit our Get Help page for more information. We understand what you are going through and will connect you to people who understand and can help.

October 4, 2018

What You Should Know about New Moms and PMADs

The birth of a child represents one of the most significant moments in a woman’s life. It’s a time of profound joy and new expectations as the mom and child begin their lifelong journey together. But for many new and expecting moms, it also can be a time of anxiety, depression or…

Healthy New Moms Resources

Read our Healthy New Moms Resources for information on emergency resources, non-emergency resources, support groups, and health coverage.

Healthy New Moms Signs & Symptoms Sheet

Read about the signs and symptoms of Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders (PMADs).

October 4, 2018

What You Should Know about New Moms and PMADs

The birth of a child represents one of the most significant moments in a woman’s life. It’s a time of profound joy and new expectations as the mom and child begin their lifelong journey together.

But for many new and expecting moms, it also can be a time of anxiety, depression or something even more serious.

Healthy New Moms Resources

Read our Healthy New Moms Resources for information on emergency resources, non-emergency resources, support groups, and health coverage.

Healthy New Moms Signs & Symptoms Sheet

Read about the signs and symptoms of Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders (PMADs).

Immediate Help

If you or a loved one needs assistance or is thinking of suicide, please get help immediately.

Help MHAMD now

Get Involved

MHAMD offers a variety of ways to support our work.

Translate »