Postpartum Mood Disorders

Postpartum Mood Disorders Quick Facts

Postpartum Mood Disorders (PPMDs) include:

1. Postpartum Depression (PPD)
2. Postpartum Anxiety (PPA)
3. Postpartum Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (PPOCD)
4. Postpartum Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PPPTSD)
5. Postpartum Psychosis (PPP)

  • Up to one in five (~20%) of mothers experience a PPMD
  • PPMDs are not “one-size-fits-all” disorders and symptoms vary among women
  • It is possible to experience more than one PPMD concurrently
  • PPMDs are completely treatable with professional help
    • Treatment options compatible with breastfeeding are available
    • It is possible to fully recover
  • Experiencing PPMD may make moms feel disconnected from their babies
    • Having a PPMD does not mean you are a bad person or a bad mom
    • Getting help for yourself is the most important thing you can do for your baby
  • A mood disorder can manifest:
    • During pregnancy or any time within the first year postpartum
    • Following adoption
  • Adding a baby to the family can trigger mood disorders in men too

Postpartum Mood Disorders Resources

Your OB practice, primary care provider, your child’s pediatrician. If you can’t reach your doctor, you can also go to your local hospital Emergency Room or call 911.

Free Telephonic Support:

Harvard’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is a free and confidential resource for all Harvard paid and benefits eligible staff, faculty, postdocs and their household members: 877-327-4278. EAP provides screening, short term counseling, referrals and resources for new parents.

By calling 800-PPD-MOMS new moms who think they may be suffering from PPMD can obtain a risk assessment. If they need more help it can and will be sent to them.

800-944-4PPD directs to appropriate local resources, including emergency services. Postpartum Support International is the largest perinatal support agency in U.S. Their hotline is available in English and Spanish and serves over 1,000 callers a month.

888-431-BABY Erikson Fussy Baby Network provides both Spanish and English support and advice for parents regarding infant fussiness, crying, and sleep issues.

Local Support Services (free and fee based):

Postpartum difficulties can be alleviated through making contact with other mothers and support groups. When a new mom doesn’t feel like reaching out because she feels down and overwhelmed is exactly the right time to connect. (Newton, MA) (Watertown, MA) (North Shore, MA) (South Shore, MA) (Services available throughout Massachusetts) provides bilingual and culturally competent mental health and family support services to the Greater Boston Area residents, with special emphasis in the Latino community. or 617-427-7175

Online Communities: