Perinatal Mental Health

This morning I attended a webinar hosted by Postpartum Support International (PSI) and 2020 Mom Project. The webinar “An Introduction to Maternal Mental Health” taught by Birdie Gunyon Meyer, RN, MA, CLC, PSI Education & Training Chairperson. Postpartum Support International promotes awareness, prevention and treatment of mental health issues related to childbearing. 2020 Mom Project seeks to bring about change by the year 2020 to address the maternal mental health crisis.

Perinatal (during pregancy and postpartum) Mood & Anxiety Disorders (PMAD) 

Screening Questions (among others)

  • Are you feeling sad or depressed?
  • Do you feel more irritable or angry with those around you?
  • Are you having difficulty bonding with your baby?
  • Do you feel anxious or panicky?
  • Are you having problems with eating or sleeping?
  • Are you having upsetting thoughts that you can’t get out
    of your mind?
  • Do you feel as if you are “out of control” or “going crazy”?
  • Do you feel like you never should have become a mother?
  • Are you worried that you might hurt your baby or yourself?

The mental health of both mothers and their partners can be affected.

Get Help

  • You are not alone.
  • You are not to blame.
  • You can feel better with help.


17 thoughts on “Perinatal Mental Health

  1. findingmysunshine86 November 18, 2014 / 10:36 pm

    This information is so important. Women are often expected to be so happy and wonderful during and after pregnancy, when it is often a stressful and exhausting time. Thank you for sharing this.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. FinickyFeet November 14, 2014 / 9:43 pm

    Kitt, thank you for this posting. It’s so important. I wish I’d had this as a young mother.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kitt O'Malley November 15, 2014 / 11:02 am

      Thank you. Yes, I could have used the resources, as well, when I was a new mom (I wasn’t particularly young). Until I was hospitalized, I relied on individual therapy with no use of community or on-line resources.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. mihrank November 14, 2014 / 12:52 am

    Kitt – this is imperative, sensitive and deep subject. You are very practical in exercising and sharing it with us. I am learning a very source from you as I have a friend he is a bipolar and every time I share your materials, it has been a blessings. You have a great cause!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kitt O'Malley November 15, 2014 / 1:33 pm

      I am so glad that your friend is benefitting from the information.


  4. kat November 13, 2014 / 10:08 pm

    when i was pregnant with my first, my son, i was the happiest person on earth all the time. my husband’s male friends were so jealous that his pregnant wife was always so happy and kind.

    but after my son was born, both my husband and myself lost our jobs, for about 3 mons. then my husband got work, and i was home with a baby who only nursed for 10 min, slept for 20min and cried for hours. nothing made him stop. he barely slept. he barely ate any at a time, but ate every hour. none of my female family members, who had experienced this, ever told me what the problem was. turns out, it was colic and gas, both. he was miserable, and so was i.

    but i wasn’t just stressed out because he was inconsolable. i was seriously depressed, and was shut up in the apt in the iowa winter with this screaming baby. i now see from your post that i was at the least experiencing postpartum depression, and possibly even postpartum psychosis. when my son was about 18mos old, i, for many other symptoms/reasons, was evaluated psychiatrically. the diagnosis, bipolar. i never went for help, even tho i wanted it desperately. i thought it would make me a bad mother, so i never knew it was postpartum depression i was suffering from. but the bipolar dx makes so much sense of that now.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kitt O'Malley November 15, 2014 / 1:32 pm

      Parenting an infant is incredibly difficult, and as you experienced, some infants are more challenging than others. My son nursed around the clock and was not one for sleeping or napping. Our our internalized stigma, thinking ourselves a bad mother if we suffer from mental illness, is extremely painful. That I know from personal experience. I thought my son was better off being cared for by someone other than me. He wanted his mother. So tragic.


  5. robertmgoldstein November 13, 2014 / 9:11 pm

    Reblogged this on Art by Rob Goldstein and commented:
    This is important information.
    My life would have been very different if my Mother had been screened for post-partum depression and psychosis. I’m going to re-blog this.


  6. robertmgoldstein November 13, 2014 / 9:10 pm

    Thank you for posting this information. My life would have been very different if my Mother
    had been screened for post-partum depression and psychosis. I’m going to re-blog this.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. glenn2point0 November 13, 2014 / 4:46 pm

    Sounds like a good webinar and raising awareness of important issues.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Kitt O'Malley November 13, 2014 / 4:49 pm

      Thank you, Glenn. Yes, it was very informative. Focused on care-providers, but as I once was a therapist I can keep a foot in each world.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. dyane November 13, 2014 / 4:33 pm

    Sounds like such a valuable webinar! As you know I was diagnosed with postpartum onset bipolar disorder (PPBD) less than 2 months after the birth of my second daughter. I’m writing a book about my experience titled “Birth of a New Brain – Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder” with a foreword by the world-renowned postpartum mood disorder expert Dr. Walker Karraa. Dr. Karraa’s new book “Transformed by Postpartum Depression: Women’s Stories of Trauma and Growth” was recently published by Praeclarus Press & is receiving rave reviews.

    On a related note, there will be an International Society of Bipolar Disorders (ISBD) webinar given by Dr. Verinder Sharma titled “Postpartum Management of Bipolar Disorder: Challenges and Opportunities” on November 25, 12:00 – 1:00pm EST. To sign up for this free webinar please visit:

    Liked by 1 person

      • dyane November 13, 2014 / 4:47 pm


        Dr. Sharma, a psychiatrist, did a groundbreaking study that received worldwide attention. I’d post a link, but I’m out the door taking Avi to ballet – such is my glamorous life! 😉

        thanks again,
        Dy xo

        Liked by 1 person

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