Know the Fact about Perinatal Mood Disorders
It is very common to feel many emotions during pregnancy or after having a baby. Some parents may feel joyful. Others may feel happy sometimes, and stressed and tearful other times. Most of the time, these feelings are mild and come and go.
For some parents, feelings of sadness, worry, or stress can be so strong that it is hard to take care of yourself or your baby. When these symptoms last longer than two weeks, you may have depression or anxiety. This happens to 2 out of 10 mothers and 1 out of 10 fathers. It can happen during pregnancy or anytime in your baby’s first year.
DEFINITION: Perinatal mood disorders are emotional, psychological and physical reactions to childbirth that interfere with your ability to care for yourself and/or your family during pregnancy and/or after giving birth, up to one year.
INCLUDES: depression or anxiety during pregnancy, postpartum depression, postpartum anxiety disorders including panic, obsessive-compulsive, and generalized anxiety disorders and postpartum psychosis.
As a healthcare provider, Carle understands the effects of perinatal mood disorders can significantly impact your baby, your family and yourself. You will be screened during your pregnancy, at the hospital, and as needed. We want to provide you information, including symptoms, methods of preventing or coping, and treatment resources to promote earlier recognition, care and treatment. Treatment may include medications, counseling, or a combination of both, and in some cases hospitalization. With proper treatment and support, you will feel better. Do not give up. Above all, perinatal mood disorders are real conditions and help is available.
It is common for parents to experience some of the symptoms during and after pregnancy. You are not alone. Symptoms that are more intense, longer lasting, or interfere with your daily tasks need follow up. Symptoms may include:
- Trouble sleeping or sleeping too much
- Trouble concentrating, remembering or making decisions
- Loss of interest in food or overeating
- Loss of interest in caring for yourself and/or your baby
- Frequent crying, even about little things
- Feeling very anxious or worrying too much, obsessing
- Irritable, angry or severe mood swings
- Loss of pleasure or interest in things you used to enjoy (including sex)
- Feelings of intense sadness, hopelessness or worthlessness
- Feelings of shame, guilt or inadequacy
- Feelings of being a bad parent
- Difficulty bonding with your baby
- Withdrawing from family and friends
- Thoughts of hurting yourself, your baby or others
- Thoughts of suicide
If you experience any of these symptoms for longer than two (2) weeks, contact your primary care provider.
If you are in a crisis situation, please contact your local Crisis Hotline Center, call 911,
Crisis Hotline Centers available 24 hours a day, seven days a week:
- Champaign and Ford Counties—(217) 359-4141
- Vermilion County—(217) 442-3200
- Piatt County—(217) 762-4357
- Macon County—(217) 362-6262
- McLean, Livingston and DeWitt Counties—(309) 827-4005
- Moultrie County—(217) 728-7611
- Edgar, Clark and Coles Counties—(866) 567-2400
- Iroquois County—(815) 432-5241
- Crawford and Lawrence Counties—(618) 395-5026
- Douglas County—(217) 253-3511
- Shelby County—(217) 774-2113
TIPS FOR PREVENTING OR COPING
- Try limiting the number of visitors and phone calls you take when you arrive home after delivery.
- Get plenty of rest. Sleep while your baby sleeps.
- Follow a sensible diet. Incorporate healthy meals and snacks intoyour diet. Avoid alcohol and caffeine.
- Take a break. Go for a walk or drive to get some fresh air.
- Interact with your baby daily. Cuddle, hold, talk, sing, smile andread to your baby.
- Do something special just for you each day.
- Establish a time to spend with your partner. Continue to fosteryour relationship.
- Keep in touch with family and friends.
- Set realistic expectations for you and your baby. You do not need to be perfect.
- Expect some days will be harder than others.
- Do not make major life changes during pregnancy or right after giving birth. Major changes can cause unneeded stress, but sometimes big changes cannot be avoided. Arrange for help.
- Discuss feeling with your partner, family and friends.
- Join a support group.
- Talk to a mental health care professional. Many have specialized perinatal training.
- Recognize when you need help and let other know how they can help you.
- If you are on medications for a previous mental health diagnosis,make sure you talk to your provider about which medication(s)may be best for you.
- McKinley Health Clinic
1109 S. Lincoln Avenue, Urbana
Hours: 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Friday
Offers evaluation and consultation for a variety of emotional and behavioral difficulties. Offered only to current University of Illinois students.
- Carle Mental Health
1813 West Kirby Avenue, Champaign
Hours: 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Friday
Offers evaluation and consultation for a variety of emotional and behavioral difficulties.
- Champaign County Christian Health Clinic
507 S. Second Street, Champaign
Hours: limited, call for appointment
Offers evaluation for a variety of emotional and behavioral difficulties.
Warm Line Peer and Family Support by Telephone
1 (866) 359-7953
Hours: 8 a.m.–5 p.m., Monday - Friday
Peer and Family Support Specialists listen and offer support during difficult times. Not a crisis hotline.
- Carle Emergency Department
611 W. Park Street, Urbana
Emergency after hours, weekend, holiday coverage for psychiatric care.
- Crisis Nursery
1309 W. Hill, Urbana
Offers respite care and drop off services for infants and small children in time of need.
Presence Covenant Behavioral Health (217) 398-8080
1400 West Park Street, Urbana
Hours: 8 a.m.–5 p.m., Monday–Friday
Crisis Line: (217) 359-4141 (crisis line available 24 hours/day)
801 Walnut Street, Champaign
Hours: Tuesdays, 8–11:30 a.m. and 1–3 p.m. and
Thursdays, 8–11:30 a.m. and 1–3 p.m.
Staff perform an assessment and help determine best course of action.
The following web sites offer information on postpartum depression: