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4 Essential Strategies for Pregnancy Related Mood Disorders

By on September 17, 2015
Girl at window by Milada Vigerova -photo-1422544834386-d121ef7c6ea8 Girl at window by Milada Vigerova -photo-1422544834386-d121ef7c6ea8 at

Post partum Blues is the one I have heard about but there are many other pregnancy related mood and anxiety disorders that you might need help with. Or you might need to encourage your girlfriend or sister to get help with.

We have to stick together. Encourage each other.


By Sarah Best, LMSW (

Perinatal mood and anxiety disorders (PMADs) are the most common complication of pregnancy, affecting up to 1 in 5 childbearing women. Although public awareness of postpartum depression (PPD) has increased in recent years, many people – including therapists – still aren’t aware that PMADs encompass a range of emotional disorders, including major depression, generalized anxiety, OCD, panic disorder, and PTSD. Symptoms vary in severity – from bothersome to debilitating – and PMADs can develop during pregnancy or at any point during the first year after giving birth.

As a staff therapist at the Seleni Institute (link is external) in New York City, I provide care to women with a range of PMAD diagnoses. My colleagues and I utilize the latest body of research to tailor evidence-based therapeutic interventions specific to each client’s individual PMAD diagnosis. For example, the interventions used to treat postpartum generalized anxiety differ significantly from those used to treat postpartum OCD.

 But over thousands of hours treating pregnant and postpartum women, I’ve learned that certain strategies are essential to treating PMADs effectively, regardless of the diagnosis or recommended treatment. These work so well I’m no longer surprised when a recovering woman prepares to leave treatment and shares that one of the following strategies made the biggest difference on her road to wellness:

1. Normalize and destigmatize. Pregnant and postpartum women are bombarded with society’s messages about how they “should” think and feel. From diaper commercials to unsolicited commentary from strangers to their own mother’s reminiscing, women hear that they should be euphoric, grateful, and fulfilled in pregnancy and new motherhood. But this……..

Read on for the “rest of the story.” Click on “rest of the story” and it will take you to it.


  1. soothing music and images

    December 9, 2015 at 7:55 AM

    If you wish for to get much from this post then you have to apply these strategies to your won blog.

    • Alexa

      December 16, 2015 at 8:02 AM

      You are right. I am a work in progress. I certainly am not perfect. In fact, I have not been on this site for a few days because I have had a migraine, and I should not have let that stop me. I am sorry I have let you down.

      If you will encourage me, I will encourage you. Keep writing me. Alexa

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