How common are maternal mental health conditions?
Maternal mental health conditions are quite common. Approximately 10% of pregnant mothers and 13% of mothers worldwide who have recently given birth have a mental disorder. The most common of these is depression.
In developing countries, the rates of mental disorders jump to 15.6% of pregnant mothers and 19.8% of mothers who have recently given birth.
How are they treated?
Depression is a mood disorder characterized by loss of interest, fatigue, changes in weight, changes in sleep (sleeping too much or too little), and other symptoms.
These anxiety disorders include postnatal generalized anxiety disorder (these anxieties could range from your parenting ability to your child's health to feeding), postnatal obsessive-compulsive disorder, (postnatal OCD often includes obsessions about harm coming to your baby and related compulsions) and postnatal health anxiety (this typically focuses on worries that your baby is ill or will become ill).
Some people experience traumatic births, and you may be at risk of developing PTSD. If this is the case, therapy may be necessary to help you process this.
Postpartum psychosis is a serious mental health condition which is characterized by hallucinations, delusions, paranoid ideation, and impairment in functioning.
The loss of a child during a pregnancy or soon after birth may put you at risk for depression, PTSD, or another mental health condition.