Peripartum refers to time period shortly before, during, and immediately after giving birth.
Many women are hesitant to seek help for mood disorders during pregnancy but the consequences of untreated depression are serious for mom and baby. Maternal depression can affect the child’s emotional and intellectual development. Medications (if necessary), support, lifestyle modification and or psychotherapy are very helpful and can prevent serious life-long consequences that arise from untreated maternal depression.
Breastfeeding and Medications
Breastfeeding is an important part of the physical and emotional health of mom and baby. New mothers dealing with mood disorders and mental illness during and after pregnancy need special attention to manage their symptoms without preventing the bonding and attachment benefits from breastfeeding. We know that up to 20 percent of women are affected by mental illness during pregnancy or in the 12 months after giving birth and a significant number of these women may require medications while nursing.
Having a healthy pregnancy is one of the best ways to promote a healthy birth.
Getting early and regular prenatal care improves the chances of a healthy pregnancy and reduce complications. Additionally, following a healthy diet, getting regular exercise, and avoiding exposure to potentially harmful substances such as lead, radiation, tobacco smoke, and alcohol can help reduce the risk of pregnancy and fetus complications. Read more about prenatal care here.