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Postpartum Mood Disorders: Do You Know the Early Signs?

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Many parents experience sadness, anxiety, stress, and feelings of overwhelm after the birth of a child. When these emotions persist and significantly interfere with functioning and parent-newborn bonding, it may be indicative of a postpartum mood disorder.Also known as perinatal mood and anxiety disorders (PMADs), these conditions affect about one in eight women or birthing parents, and as many as one in ten fathers or caregiving partners.

12 Postpartum mood disorders are also linked to pre-existing conditions like depression, anxiety, trauma, and ADHD. 3456Knowing the signs of postpartum mood disorders is the first step toward early detection and preventing these treatable conditions from worsening.Postpartum mood disorders are not to be confused with the baby blues, which most birthing parents experience as a result of dramatic hormonal dips after birth.

Sadness, sleep disturbances, irritability, anxiety, and tearfulness are common signs of the baby blues.The symptoms and emotional challenges of postpartum mood disorders are more intense and long-lasting than those of the baby blues, which peak within the first week of birth and last up to three weeks.

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