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Postpartum Care for Mothers with ADHD: A Guide for Clinicians

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New mothers with ADHD face distinct postpartum challenges that are as ubiquitous as they are unstudied. Despite the executive functioning strains exacerbated by ADHD medication cessation during pregnancy and nursing, postpartum women must learn to provide steady care for their newborns.

All the while, hormonal changes cause ADHD symptoms to spike and mental health and wellbeing to plummet. The months following the birth of a baby are uniquely difficult, and women with ADHD do not usually receive the medical support and treatments they need during this time.Supporting new parents with ADHD in this sensitive phase is of utmost clinical importance.Clinicians must understand the demands of early motherhood through the lens of ADHD symptoms and management.

These include:In an ADDitude survey of 1,914 women with ADHD, more than half of those who had given birth said they experienced symptoms of postpartum depression (PPD), including feelings of worthlessness (76%), crying spells (76%), mood swings (66%), and irritability (62%), among other symptoms.[Take This Self-Test: Signs of Postpartum Depression]The survey, conducted in 2023, also found that nearly half of all women with self-reported PPD said they did not receive any treatment, and nearly 18% said their symptoms lasted longer than two years.Here are a few comments from ADDitude readers who answered the survey:“The medical community didn’t take my baby blues seriously after my children were born.

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