perinatal mood and anxiety disorders

1 in 7 pregnant or postpartum women experience PMAds

The symptoms described below can appear anytime during pregnancy or in the twelve months after childbirth (or longer if left untreated).  Any of these symptoms along with other symptoms not listed could indicate you have a perinatal mood or anxiety disorder (PMAD). PMADs do not discriminate, they can happen to anyone regardless of how prepared you feel you are, the resources you have, or if this is your first baby or fourth. Please don't hesitate to get the help you need so that you can recover from feeling like this, there is relief.  Contact Analisa today to see how Liminal Space Counseling can address your needs.   


PREGNANCY & Postpartum depression

Some common symptoms of postpartum depression are:

  • feeling tired or exhausted
  • frequent crying or sadness
  • feeling guilty
  • easily overwhelmed
  • difficulty sleeping
  • change in appetite 
  • irritability
  • difficulty bonding with your baby
  • easily angered or unexplained rage
  • negative thoughts such as feeling like you are a terrible mother
  • feeling isolated
  • thoughts of self-harm and/or death

If you are experiencing these symptoms or others, please contact me today to get the help you need and deserve.

symptoms of postpartum anxiety

PREGNANCY & postpartum anxiety

Some common symptoms of postpartum anxiety are:

  • difficulty sleeping
  • constant worry
  • feelings of panic
  • trouble concentrating or sitting still
  • physical symptoms like racing heart, excessive sweating, dizziness, or nausea
  • racing thoughts or intrusive thoughts (see postpartum ocd below)
intrusive thoughts scary thoughts new baby

Pregnancy & postpartum ocd

Some common symptoms of postpartum OCD are:

  • intrusive thoughts: unwanted, repetitive, scary thoughts or images that play on repeat and whose contents are disturbing to you such as harm coming to your baby by accident, by your hand, or by others.  These thoughts are disturbing to you and you know that you would not carry them out.  
  • avoiding things due to intrusive thoughts and fears (i.e. avoiding holding the baby or carrying the baby down the stairs)
  • compulsions such as constant checking, cleaning, or counting
  •  fear of being alone
  • hyper-focused on protecting the baby
birth trauma ptsd


Women can experience trauma and/or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) anytime during pregnancy, labor & delivery, or after the baby arrives home.

Some risk factors for birth trauma related PTSD are:

  • unplanned c-section or trauma during the surgery
  • feeling powerless in the delivery room
  • fear for your own life or your baby's life
  • baby going to the NICU
  • birth related injuries (perineal tearing, hemorrhaging, preeclampsia, etc.)

Some common symptoms include:

  • flashbacks of traumatic event(s) 
  • nightmares and/or trouble sleeping
  • easily scared or startled
  • hyper-vigilance
  • Increased anxiety
  • panic attacks
  • avoiding thoughts/places/things associated with trauma
postpartum bipolar disorder

Pregnancy & Postpartum bipolar disorder

Some women are diagnosed with Bipolar 1 or Bipolar 2 Mood Disorder for the first time in pregnancy or postpartum.  If a woman already has this diagnosis, they are at greater risk for experiencing a PMAD. It is important to consult a mental health professional if you are expericing these or other symptoms:

  • periods of depressed mood
  • periods of heightened mood
  • little need for sleep or insomnia 
  • overly confident or inflated sense of self
  • racing thoughts or rapid speech

postpartum psychosis

This is the most rare of the PMADs (.1-.2% of births), but it is also the one that gets the most media attention.  Postpartum Psychosis is a medical emergency that needs immediate medical attention. Its onset is usually soon after birth or in the first two weeks after birth. Call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room if you or someone you know are experiencing these symptoms:

  • Seeing, hearing or believing things that others cannot see or hear (delusions & hallucinations)
  • Decreased need for sleep or insomnia
  • Hyperactive (pacing, can't sit still)
  • Irritable
  • Paranoid
  • Difficulty communicating
  • Rapid mood swings

if you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, know that this is not your fault and there is help for you. Please reach out and get the relief that you deserve. 

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