Perinatal Mental Health Challenges

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The perinatal period refers to the duration of a woman’s pregnancy as well as the weeks and months following the birth of a baby. Although the time leading up to and following a baby’s birth is often joyful and exciting, the perinatal period can also come with mental health challenges for both mothers and fathers.

Postpartum depression is perhaps the best-known perinatal mental health issue, but psychological and emotional reactions to the perinatal period vary widely and can occur at any time before or after pregnancy.

Some amount of anxiety and stress is a normal part of pregnancy, childbirth, and parenting, but when these challenges become especially frequent or intense, they can get in the way of a healthy lifestyle for you and your family.

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Prevalence of perinatal mental health challenges

However, only 40% of women dealing with perinatal mental health challenges seek treatment. [3]

Symptoms of perinatal mental health challenges

Perinatal mental health challenges can include a wide range of symptoms, many of which often coincide with each other. Everyone has a different emotional and psychological reaction to the perinatal period, but some common struggles include:

Types of perinatal mental health challenges

Again, perinatal mental health challenges vary widely. That said, some of the most common scenarios include:

What to do if you’re experiencing perinatal mental health challenges

If you’re experiencing mental health challenges related to your pregnancy or the birth of your child, you might consider the following options:

How to find a therapist for perinatal mental health challenges

Prioritize the therapy type(s) that appeals to you

Therapists differ in their approaches to perinatal mental health challenges. Some common treatments for perinatal mental health challenges include:

Find therapists specializing in perinatal mental health near you

Find therapists who specialize in perinatal mental health on Zencare, below. Search by insurance, fees, and location; watch therapist introductory videos; and book free initial calls to find the right therapist for you!

New to therapy? Learn about how to find a therapist here.