Perinatal Mental Health


The transition to parenthood is a life changing experience with significant physical and psychological adjustments for the entire family. Many parents experience mood changes and feel overwhelmed during pregnancy and/or after the birth of their child. When these symptoms do not resolve on their own, worsen in severity and begin to affect a person’s quality of life, they may be experiencing a perinatal mental health disorder. While the term “Postpartum Depression” has been used in the past, perinatal mental health conditions are actually a spectrum of experiences that can affect individuals during pregnancy and/or postpartum that include postpartum depression as well as a variety of other conditions. Birthing individuals are not to blame or at fault for experiencing a perinatal mental health condition: it is not brought on by anything a person has or has not done. Perinatal mental health disorders occur in people of every culture, age, income level and ethnicity. Treating perinatal mental health conditions may help prevent long-term and adverse effects for parents, children and families.

The spectrum of perinatal mental health conditions includes:

  • Perinatal depression 

  • Perinatal anxiety and panic disorders

  • Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

  • Perinatal bipolar disorder and postpartum mania

  • Postpartum psychosis

  • Perinatal substance use

  • Parental suicide

  • Complicated grief after perinatal loss