Postpartum Mood and Anxiety Disorders

Postpartum Depression - Doula Support by Nancy Madru

Even with the best of planning, it is not uncommon for the new mother to experience a range of emotions from the short-term weepiness and sadness of Baby Blues to the less common, issues of anxiety and depression. Early recognition and appropriate professional help has been shown to give women the best opportunity for recovery.  There are several resources I’d like to share with you.

Postpartum Support International, presents a reassuring “You are not alone” message.  The website links to a family section with tips for postpartum Dads and partners and an on-line Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) to be used in conjunction with medical care providers.

Postpartum Progress is an award-winning peer-to-peer blog with in-depth, easy to read information. 

MotherWoman is a local organization, nationally recognized for its model of postpartum support groups.  There are several support groups in Western Massachusetts run by MotherWoman-trained facilitators.

Local resources in the Pioneer Valley (connect to “Local Resources for Postpartum Mood and Anxiety Disorders” in Documents.) include psychotherapy, medication therapy, light therapy, support groups and yoga classes.

Participating in yoga classes during the childbearing year may help with perinatal mood disorders. Many women experience anxiety and depression during pregnancy. Because women who have a history of anxiety and depression are at an increased risk for experiencing postpartum mood disorders, it makes sense to treat the condition during pregnancy, but many women don’t want to take medications during pregnancy.  It is so encouraging to know that prenatal yoga can help alleviate the symptoms of depression! According to a 2012 study from the University of Michigan, mindfulness yoga during pregnancy reduced depression in pregnant women.