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Perinatal (also known as maternal) mental health includes mental illness that existed before pregnancy, as well as illnesses that develop for the first time or are greatly exacerbated in the perinatal period (the two-year period from conception until baby’s first birthday).  Examples of perinatal mental health problems include antenatal and/or postnatal depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, postpartum psychosis, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). These illnesses can be mild, moderate or severe, requiring different kinds of care or treatment.

Postpartum Depression

• Feeling hopeless, helpless, or worthless
• Lacking motivation, concentration, or energy
• Loss of interest or pleasure in activities
• Feelings of anger, guilt, irritability, rage, or regret

Postpartum Anxiety

  • Feeling easily stressed, worried, or overwhelmed
  • Being hypervigilant with baby
  • Having scary, intrusive, or racing thoughts
  • Feeling keyed up, on edge, restless, or panicked

Postpartum Psychosis

  • Severe mental illness, constitutes medical emergency
  • Symptoms can include delusions, hallucinations, mania, paranoia, and confusion
  • Those suffering may be at risk for harming themselves, their child(ren), and others
  • Getting help as soon as possible is critical



988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline

National Maternal Mental Health Hotline

911 or your local emergency room


Articles and Information:

Coping Skills and Resources

Massachusetts General Hospital Postpartum Psychosis Project (MGHP3)

Maternal Mental Health

Maternal Mental Health and Suicide

Postpartum Depression, Anxiety, OCD, Psychosis, and Other Mood Disorders

Postpartum Mental Health – Risk Factors

Pregnancy and Postpartum Psychosis

The Fourth Trimester

What is Perinatal Mental Health?



A Mother’s Climb Out of Darkness: A Story about Overcoming Postpartum Psychosis (Amazon; Bookshop)

Beyond the Blues: Understanding and Treating Prenatal and Postpartum Depression and Anxiety (Amazon; Bookshop)

Good Moms Have Scary Thoughts (Amazon; Bookshop)

It Wasn’t Supposed to Be Like This (Amazon; Bookshop)

Not Your Mother’s Postpartum Book (Amazon; Bookshop)

Postpartum Happiness: What to Do When You Love your Kids But Hate the Job (Amazon)

Return to You: A Postpartum Plan for New Mothers (Amazon)

The Fourth Trimester (Amazon; Bookshop)

The Fourth Trimester Companion (Amazon)

The Fourth Trimester Journal (Amazon)

The Little Blue Rocket Ship: A Story about Postpartum Depression (Amazon)

The Postpartum Depression Workbook (Amazon)

Understanding Postpartum Psychosis (Amazon; Bookshop)



Adventures with Postpartum Depression

Economic Hardship Reporting Project

Get Healthy 360

Mom and Mind

Not Carol

We See You Mama



988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline

Bloom Foundation for Maternal Wellness

Cherished Mom

DONA International Postpartum Plan

Intensive Treatment Options

Maternal Mental Health Alliance

Melanie’s Battle

National Maternal Mental Health Hotline

Policy Center for Maternal Mental Health

Postpartum Stress Center

Postpartum Support International

Postpartum Toolkit

Steps to Wellness

The Blue Dot Project

Your Postpartum Vacation Plan


Videos and Webinars:

Coping Skills and Resources

Detecting and Diagnosing Postpartum Depression

Not Carol

Postpartum Depression, Anxiety, OCD, Psychosis, and Other Mood Disorders

Postpartum Depression: It’s Not the Baby Blues



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