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  1. Perinatal depression is common. It is, in fact, the number one complication of pregnancy. In the US, 15% to 20% of new moms, or about 1 million women each year experience perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, and some studies suggest that number may be even higher.  YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Perinatal depression can affect any women regardless of age, income, culture or education.

  2. You may experience some of these symptoms:
    • Feelings of sadness.
    • Mood swings: highs and lows, feeling overwhelmed.
    • Difficulty concentrating.
    • Lack of interest in things you used to enjoy.
    • Changes in sleeping and eating habits.
    • Panic attacks, nervousness and anxiety.
    • Excessive worry about your baby.
    • Thoughts of harming yourself or your baby.
    • Feelings of guilt and inadequacy.
    • Difficulty accepting motherhood.
    • Irrational thinking; seeing of hearing things that are not there.
      Some ways women describe their feelings include: "I want to cry all the time." "I feel like I'm on an emotional roller coaster."I will never feel like myself again."I don't think my baby likes me". "Everything feels like an effort."
       
  3. Symptoms can appear any time during pregnancy, and up to the child's first year.
    Baby blues, a normal adjustment period after birth, usually lasts from 2 to 3 weeks. If you have any of the listed symptoms, they have stayed the same or have gotten worse, and you're 5 to 6 weeks postpartum, then you are no longer experiencing baby bules, and may have a perinatal mood or anxiety disorder.

  4. You did nothing to cause this.
    You are not a weak or bad person. You have a common, treatable illness. Research shows that there are a variety of risk factors that may impact how you are feeling, including your medical history, how your body processes certain hormones, the level of stress you are experiencing and how much help you have with your baby.  What we do know is, THIS IS NOT YOUR FAULT.

  5. The sooner you get treatment, the better. Recent studies show that your baby's well-being and development are directly tied to your physical and emotional health.  You deserve to be healthy, and your baby needs a healthy mom in order to thrive.  Don't wait to reach out for HELP.  It is available.

  6. There is help for you.  There comes a time in every woman's life when she needs help. NOW is the time to reach out to a caring professional, who is knowledgeable about perinatal depression, and who can help you through this time of crisis.  He or she can understand the pain you are experiencing and guide you on the road to recover. Contact Postpartum Support International, 1.800.944.4773 or www.postpartum.net, for referrals and support near you.

Please note that the Task Force itself does not provide therapy or advice. We do not provide a hotline or a warmline, and cannot provide advice via email. However, if you feel that you (or a loved one) may be suffering from perinatal depression/anxiety, we strongly encourage you to reach out for help by calling 211 if you are a resident of Los Angeles county, Postpartum Support International if you are anywhere within the United States or beyond by contacting www.postpartum.net, or speaking to your healthcare provider.

If you have thoughts of harming yourself or your baby (or if your pregnant/postpartum loved one is exhibiting frightening or bizarre thoughts/behaviors ) call 911 immediately. A phone call is the first, and sometimes the hardest, step toward getting well.

To download our Six Things Every New Mom and Mom-to-Be Should Know About Perinatal Depression brochure, please click pdfHERE

Descaga nuestro Seis Cosas Cada Nueva Mama Debe Saber Sobre La Depresion Perinatal y Postparto, haga click pdfAQUI..

The mission of the Los Angeles County Perinatal Mental Health Task Force is to remove barriers to the prevention, screening and treatment of prenatal and postpartum depression in Los Angeles County. The Task Force is a project of 501(c)3 fiscal sponsor Community Partners.