What is the most common complication of pregnancy?
Most people will guess gestation diabetes, morning sickness, or something else you hear about frequently. However, it's not a physical complication that is the most frequent at all, but actually perinatal mental health disorders are the most common complication of pregnancy!
We use "perinatal" as the term now instead of "postpartum" (as in postpartum depression) to capture these diagnoses, because "perinatal" captures both the pregnancy and postpartum period. These symptoms can occur both during the pregnancy and after the baby is born (and even have a delayed onset, occurring sometimes up to a year and a half after the baby is born!)
So, what how frequently do these occur?
▪️1 out of 5 women will experience Perinatal Anxiety▪️1 out of 7 women will experience Perinatal Depression▪️1 out of 10 Dads and partners will experience Depression and/or Anxiety▪️3-5% women will experience Perinatal Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).▪️9% women will experience Postpartum posttraumatic stress disorder PTSD▪️Up to 20% women will experience Perinatal Bipolar Disorder▪️1-2% will experience Postpartum Psychosis
Can you guess the second most common complications of pregnancy?
It’s Gestational Diabetes and Pregnancy Induced Hypertension which affect roughly 1 out of 20 women. And yet we routinely screen for these 2 complications, yet how many of you were screened for mood disorders during your pregnancy or postpartum recovery? 😳
We’ve got to do better and it begins with us! There are so many great birth workers (OB's, midwives, doulas, pediatricians, etc.) out there that are wonderful about screening for mental illness but if you or your loved one isn’t getting the help you need or if you have not been screened then please seek the help yourself! You’ve got this because you are not alone 💜 Go to postpartumhealthalliance.org in the San Diego area, or postpartum.net or read more at my Perinatal Mental Health page 💜