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  • Maternal Mental Health Perinatal Mood & Anxiety

    What Is Perinatal Depression?

    Perinatal Mood & Anxiety Disorders (PMAD’S) consists of anxiety or depression during pregnancy (perinatal) or throughout the first year after giving birth (postpartum). Approximately 15% to 21% of pregnant and postpartum women experience Perinatal Mood & Anxiety Disorder. It is common for women to experience mood swings after giving birth. You may have ups and downs due to being a first-time mother, exhaustion, joy, sleep deprivation, worry, or stress. Although it is normal to feel emotionally overwhelmed and physically fatigued in taking care of a newborn baby, these emotions and mood swings can develop into significant unpleasant feelings, anxiety, depression, or panic attacks that linger during pregnancy and a year after giving birth. If you are uncertain whether or not these symptoms can be something more, please contact your healthcare provider for a consultation.



    Low self-worth

    Difficulty focusing

    Lack of motivation

    Crying often and weeping

    Sadness and depression

    Not feeling like yourself

    Becoming easily annoyed, irritable or angry

    Isolation and social withdrawal

    Having thoughts of harming the baby or yourself

    Not interested in things you used to enjoy

    Feeling disconnected from the baby

    Sleep disturbance – having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep

    Perinatal anxiety or depression is not your fault. You are not alone. These feelings may prevent you from daily functioning and taking care of yourself and your baby. If you are experiencing these symptoms during or after recently giving birth, please do not hesitate to seek assistance from your primary healthcare provider. Physicians and psychotherapists can collaborate to provide a treatment therapy plan to help alleviate these extreme moods swings and help balance your well-being.

    If You Are Experiencing a Crisis, Suicidal Thoughts or Thoughts of Harming Your Baby

    If you have thoughts of harming yourself or your baby, immediately seek help taking care of your baby.

    ·     Immediately call 911 or the local hospital emergency room

    ·    Call National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK

    ·     (1-800-273-8255) 24 hours a day, 7 days a week

    ·    Chat at

    ·    Contact the Crisis Text Line 24 hours a day, 7 days a week

    ·     Text HELLO to 741741.

    ·     Seek help from your primary care physician

    ·     Call a mental health professional

    ·     Reach out to your partner, close friend, or family.

    ·     Contact a spiritual leader in your faith community.




    Byrnes, L. (2018). Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders, The Journal for Nurse Practitioners, Volume 14, Issue 7, pp. 507-513, ISSN 1555-4155,

    Kendig, S., Keats, J., Hoffman, M.C., Kay, L.B., Miller, E.S.. et al. (2017). Consensus Bundle on Maternal Mental Health: Perinatal Depression and Anxiety, Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic & Neonatal Nursing, Volume 46, Issue 2, Pages 272-281, ISSN 0884-2175,

    Long, M.M., Cramer, R.J., Jenkins, J., et al. (2019). A systematic review of interventions for healthcare professionals to improve screening and referral for perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. Arch Women’s Ment Health 22, 25–36.

    Meltzer-Brody S., Rubinow D. (2021) An Overview of Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders: Epidemiology and Etiology. In: Cox E. (eds) Women’s Mood Disorders. Springer, Cham.

    UNC Center for Women’s Mood Disorders