Pregnancy-related depression (PRD) is the most common complication of pregnancy, affecting nearly 1 in 9 women who give birth in Colorado. Perinatal (the period immediately before and after birth) mood disorders are fairly common, yet often go unrecognized and untreated, leaving mothers and children at risk. Pregnancy-related depression and anxiety are two of the most common forms of perinatal mood disorders and are known to affect moms' ability to care for the new infant as well as any other children, decrease infant bonding and have lifelong negative impacts on a child's growth and development.
Pregnancy-related depression can include:
- Anxiety and worry, even panic attacks and scary thoughts
- "Baby blues" or feelings of fatigue, anxiety or irritability that do not get better
- Difficulty bonding with your baby
- Fatigue, always wanting to sleep and not getting enough or having trouble sleeping
- Irritability and moodiness and feeling out of control
Severe symptoms can include:
- Rapid mood swings
- Suicidal thoughts (Seek help and call 911)
The exact cause of PRD is not clear, but major changes the mother goes through during pregnancy and beyond appear to be the trigger. These can include:
- Hormonal fluctuations
- Lack of support from friends or family
- A difficult pregnancy or childbirth
Know Your Risk
Do you think you have or are at risk for Postpartum Depression?
- Take the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale Test [external link] to find out if you have symptoms of pregnancy-related depression.
- Talk to your provider, your partner, a friend or a family member about your concerns.
- Seek help!
If you have thoughts about hurting yourself or your baby, get help right away. It is important for you to know you are not alone and help is available.
- Jefferson Center Emergency Line 24/7: 303-425-0300
- Colorado Crisis Services: 1-844-493-8255
- Suicide Hotline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
- Or dial 911
Non-Emergency Mental Health Resources
- Foothills Behavioral Health Partners
- Jefferson Center for Mental Health [external link]
- Mother and Baby Support Group
- Postpartum Support International (Colorado) [external link]