It’s time to talk about
Maternal Mental Health

bellyThe road to motherhood is one often paved with joy, anticipation, and excitement for things to come. That is the aspect of motherhood we like to openly share with others, at least. Although 1 in 5 women are diagnosed with a perinatal mood disorder each year, only 15% receive additional treatment or seek additional support from loved ones. Let’s work together in spreading awareness of perinatal mood disorders and finally put an end to ‘mom-shaming’ the difficulties shared by many.

What are Perinatal Mood Disorders (PMADS) and when should I seek additional support?

Normal Adjustment

  • Mild situational anxiety 
  • Tired, but able to function
  • Both mom & baby receiving enough nourishment
  • life has changed but is still pleasurable
  • feeling good (or neutral) about your abilities to be a mom
  • Able to engage with social supports & manage new stressors

“Baby Blues”
60-80% of New Moms

  • Frequent weepiness
  • Difficulty sleeping/feeling tired
  • Anxiety 
  • Irritability
  • Sudden mood changes
  • Sense of vulnerability
  • Worry about baby but able to bond/feed 
  • Occurs within 2 weeks postpartum & naturally improves on its own

15-20% of New Moms

  • Frequent crying, sadness, loss of joy
  • Increased anger/irritability
  • Appetite loss & sleep deprivation
  • Shame/hopelessness
  • Racing/intrusive thoughts
  • Thoughts of harming self or baby
  • Sense of detachment or lack of bonding with baby 
  • Pre-existing depression & anxiety worsen postpartum 
  • Occurs within weeks postpartum & can persist for 1 year+

“Everyone expects you to be nothing less than overjoyed. But the reality is many women end up in a dark, discouraging place and don’t know where to turn or who to ask about it. We are supposed to be 100% grateful and over the moon. We have been blessed with motherhood when many women never get the honor, so guilt clouds us when we feel depressed, hopeless, utterly exhausted, and barely hanging on. It’s not talked about enough. It needs to be.”

– Angel Falkner


Where can I go for help?

Postpartum Support International (PSI)

Postpartum Depression Alliance of Illinois

Illinois Association for Infant Mental Health

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)

Brittany Nelson, PsyD, PMH-C
Licensed Clinical Psychologist
Certified Perinatal Mental Health Professional