What can all parents expect to experience after having a baby...

Sometimes referred to as the Baby Blues, the majority of Moms, and some Dads experience emotional and hormonal changes during pregnancy and after the birth of their baby.

What is categorized as a Perinatal Mood Disorder...

Also know as Postpartum Depression, Perinatal, as it refers to the period during pregnancy and postpartum, is a more accurate term for defining the illness, as Moms and Dads can experience depression during pregnancy, not just postpartum; This is sometimes referred to as Ante-partum Depression.

Anxiety can be brought on by many things. During pregnancy and postpartum, anxiety is often triggered by a combination of factors that can include: lack of sleep or change in sleep patters, hormonal changes, changes in brain chemistry, depletion of key nutrients in the body, obsessive worry about the pregnancy and/or baby. Any combination of these factors could lead an expecting Mom or new Mom to ongoing, strong feelings of anxiety and panic.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is characterized as an Anxiety disorder, and defined by compulsions and obsessive thinking. During pregnancy and postpartum, obsessive compulsive disorder can cause the Mom to develop ongoing, compulsive behaviors and obsessive, worrisome thinking, referred to as intrusive thoughts. Intrusive thoughts are often disturbing in nature, and when the thoughts are about a women's pregnancy and/or baby, it can be quite alarming.

When a person experiences a trauma, whether perceived or real, and they are unable to process it fully for whatever reason, they can experience post-traumatic-stress-disorder. In the case of postpartum, if a Mom experiences either a traumatic pregnancy or birth, or possibly some other traumatic event during this time, PTSD can occur.

In rare or extreme situations, a small percentage of Moms can develop a psychosis as part of their perinatal mood disorder. Psychosis is a state whee the individual has lost partial control of reality and begins to perceive things that are not real; this can be visual, auditory or physical.

For more information, please visit these links:
Symptoms of Perinatal Mood Disorders
Getting Help

Other issues can arise in the Postpartum Period...

It is possible for some Individuals affected by a perinatal mood disorder to develop an addiction or substance abuse problem as a way of coping with the challenges of parenthood and development of a mood disorder.
More information at this link: Postpartum Addiction