Diagnosis & Treatment

Peripartum Mood Disorders

While childbirth is often depicted as a time full of joy and happiness, many women experience significant emotional and psychological challenges during this period. About 10% of pregnant women and 13% of women in the postpartum period experience mental health difficulties, the most common of which is depression. Not only is this the most common mental health challenge, but depression is also the most common complication of pregnancy. Mood changes can have profound effects on mom, baby, and the overall dynamics of the family unit.

Due to various factors including mental health stigma, these disorders are often underdiagnosed and undertreated. Research has shown that untreated maternal mental health conditions are associated with low birth weight, preterm delivery, and developmental/cognitive delays.

At Avance Psychiatry, we recognize the complexity of peripartum mood disorders and offer comprehensive treatments tailored to each individual’s needs. Our approach integrates evidence-based practices with compassionate care to support women through this vulnerable phase of life. The goal of this approach is to provide mothers an opportunity to experience the priceless early moments of their babies’ lives.

Understanding Peripartum Mood Disorders

Mood disorders include a spectrum of diagnoses that can occur at any point during one’s lifespan. The peripartum period specifically refers to the time surrounding a woman’s pregnancy (shortly before, during, and after).

Peripartum mood disorders encompass a range of conditions, including, but not limited to:

  • depression
  • anxiety
  • psychosis
  • OCD

These disorders can manifest in various ways, such as persistent sadness, anxiety, irritability, feelings of guilt or worthlessness, changes in appetite/sleep patterns, difficulty bonding with the baby, intrusive thoughts, or erratic moods that shift between low and elevated.

Numerous factors contribute to the development of peripartum mood disorders, including hormonal fluctuations, genetic predisposition, past experiences of trauma, previous mental health conditions, lack of social support, and the stressors associated with childbirth and motherhood. It is important to understand that about two thirds of peripartum depression begins before birth and a woman does not need to have a previous history of mood disorder because mood dysregulation may happen for the first time during pregnancy.

At Avance Psychiatry, we believe in a multidisciplinary approach to mental health care. Our providers collaborate closely with obstetricians, pediatricians, lactation consultants, and other healthcare professionals involved in the patient’s care to ensure comprehensive support and continuity of treatment.

Treatment Options

The team at Avance Psychiatry offers multiple treatment options for patients dealing with all peripartum mood disorders.

Pharmacotherapy (the use of medication) can be an effective component of treatment. Avance Psychiatry providers carefully evaluate each patient’s symptoms, medical history, and individual circumstances to determine the most appropriate medication regimen. Medications may be prescribed or recommended against, considering their safety during pregnancy and breastfeeding, along with mom’s experiences and potential apprehensions. Due to the complex and ever-changing nature of this sensitive time, we strive to provide the most up-to-date information to determine an appropriate treatment regimen. This requires active participation/input from the patient who is an integral part of this process.

It’s Too Important to Wait

Peripartum mood disorders are common yet often underrecognized conditions that can have profound implications for maternal and family health. Avance Psychiatry is committed to providing compassionate, evidence-based care to women experiencing these challenges. If you or someone you know is struggling with a peripartum mood disorder, we encourage you to reach out to our team for assistance.

Don't delay the care you need.

Prompt appointments available.