Pregnant and Postpartum Mood and Anxiety Disorders impact 1 in 7 families.
Moms are the anchors in their households. When a mom isn't well, everyone suffers. Maternal Mental Health disorders impact 15-20% of pregnant women and women in the postpartum period (year after birth), yet most are never diagnosed and treated.
By conservative estimates, this means more than 600,000 women in the U.S. suffer each year.
These experiences can have lasting consequences on a mother and her family including her infant's cognitive and behavioral development, the well being of other children and her relationship stability.
General Information about Maternal Mental Health Disorders
Maternal mental health disorders like depression and anxiety impact 15-20% of women during pregnancy and the postpartum period. That's 1 in 7 pregnancies and a lot of moms and families who have suffered and are suffering now.
Following is a summary of the most recent large-scale research study on postpartum depression and anxiety (2013).
Moms are Not Routinely Screened
Pregnant women and mothers in the postpartum period are not routinely screened for maternal mental health disorders, though there are recommended screening tools. This is largely due to a shortage of and the inability for screening providers to easily find, qualified healthcare providers who can provide necessary treatment, including psychiatrists, Medical Doctors (MDs) who can prescribe medication when necessary, and therapists like psychologists, social workers, counselors and more.
To learn more about why screening doesn't occur, and what we can do about it, watch the 2020 Mom Project 3 minute video.
As Compared to Breast Cancer and Gestational Diabetes
- According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) there were 3,952,841 births in 2012. And women who have pregnancy loss can also suffer from a maternal mental health disorder. Source: FASTSTATS - Births and Natality
- 15-20% of women (592,926-790,568) will suffer from maternal mental health disorders surrounding pregnancy.
- According to the American Cancer Society, the most recent estimate of new cases of invasive breast cancer were about 232,570 (2009). Source: How many women get breast cancer?
- According to the American Diabetes Association, it is estimated that Gestational Diabetes impacts up to 18% of pregnancies. It's also important to note that women who have any form of diabetes, including gestational diabetes are at great risk of suffering from maternal depression.
Dads Can Suffer from Depression and Anxiety too
- Though fathers don't experience the same physical changes as women do through pregnancy and childbirth, they are exposed to some of the same stressors, such as sleep changes, which can trigger depression or anxiety. A research analysis published in 2010 noted that roughly 10% of fathers suffer from depression in the one year postpartum. Young fathers (25-34) are at higher risk for suffering from depression.
For More Information & Social Support
For more information, about maternal mental health disorders, please visit the Postpartum Support International website.