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Perinatal Mood Disorder

By EmpowHER February 9, 2008 - 10:04pm
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Tell us about your experiences with perinatal mood disorder.

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HERWriter Guide

You are so right! I don't like that term either. Not from a politically correct kind of way. I'm not the kind to refer to my time as a full-time stay-at-home-mom as my Important Stint as a Domestic Engineer or Chief Executive Officer of [insert my home address here]. Besides, it was much harder!

What I don't like about it is that (apart from the fact that it smacks of patronizing head-patting) it means nothing. It's like saying someone with cancer is sick. So it someone who has a cold but it's hardly the same thing.

As you said, it encompasses a lot more than the post-partum hormonal shift. I have a friend - a writer - who primarily suffered from Postpartum Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, and also the Panic and Anxiety disorders. She has written a book about it and is currently pitching her submission letters. These disorders overtook her life completely. To the point that she will not biologically have another child because it raged back at her even worse during and after her second pregnancy (it began in her first).

I have never had it referred to me verbally as the 'baby blues' by my doctors or nurses when pregnant or post-partum, but the literature they sent me home with referred to it. There are a lot of medical conditions, especially pertaining to women that are referred to in this way. To me it's kind of like the expression "crib death" - which also means nothing as SIDS has nothing to do with a crib, other than most babies sleep in one so they succumb to SIDS in one. Not that SIDS is only a woman's issue.

If men had PPD or any of it's derivatives, it would be known as something a lot more than the baby blues. Not to get all anti-male about it but PPD is far too serious - and far too common - a condition to lower it to some kind of typically-overly-emotional-female status.

February 13, 2008 - 2:34pm
EmpowHER Guest

There are several different perinatal mood disorders, of which the most well-known is Postpartum Depression (PPD). Another one, even more devastating than PPD, is Postpartum Psychosis (PPP), made more well-known by recent cases in the media, such as Andrea Yates' case. PPP can occur when PPD has gone on untreated for far too long.

The lesser-known perinatal mood disorders include: Postpartum Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Postpartum Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and Postpartum Panic Disorder, and Postpartum Anxiety Disorder.

People, and sadly, the medical establishment, still refer to PPD as being the "Baby Blues." This is SO not the case. Personally, I don't believe that there's such a thing as the "Baby Blues." I think historically that term has been used to brush off the massive hormonal fluctuations during the postpartum period as being fleeting and trivial. Like we're all supposed to shed a few tears at the changes caused by motherhood, but then get over it and focus on being a glowing, happy new mother cooing with the new baby. Yeah, right.

Who else wishes that the term "Baby Blues" would be erased from our vocabulary??

Kristin Park

February 11, 2008 - 2:28pm
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