Postpartum depression and anxiety (PMAD) occurs in up to 10% of births. It typically emerges over the first 2-3 months after childbirth but may occur at any point after delivery or miscarriage. Depression and anxiety after childbirth are serious and can have significant and lasting impact on the patient, infant, and family. Even higher rates of depression and anxiety can occur during pregnancy and should be identified and monitored to ensure your safety.
Symptoms of Postpartum Depression:
- Feeling sad, depressed, and/or crying a lot
- Loss of interest in usual activities
- Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, anger or incompetence
- Gender dysphoria
- Fatigue, irritability, sleep disturbance
- Change in appetite
- Poor concentration
- Feeling inadequate to cope with new infant
- Excessive/inappropriate worry about baby’s health “What if?”
- Suicidal thoughts
Pregnancy Loss or Birth Trauma
Many people struggle with pain and grief that is powerful and overwhelming. Miscarriage can leave you feeling numb, helpless and isolated from others.
Complications of interventions during the birthing process, whether or not it results in live birth, can also result in symptoms of PMADs.
Infertility occurs in 10-15% of couples of reproductive age. Investigation of the causes of infertility and treatment can bring on a “life crisis” that can tax a couple or individual’s existing problem-solving resources, threaten achievement of life goals, and awaken unresolved past difficulties or trauma.
Some people who use assistive reproductive technology (ART) may not be infertile. There are many circumstances where ART may be the best or only option. The process can inspire feelings of frustration, sadness, gender dysphoria and worry. LGBT clients may not be comfortable discussing these feelings due to fear of bigotry, which results in isolation and lack of care.