Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders: Not Just Postpartum Depression

In the past, it was considered part of having a baby that led to what was called the “Baby Blues.” We recognized that women often felt moody, sad, or tired and even acknowledged that some women got postpartum depression. These conditions were attributed to hormones and generally thought to be transient; nothing to be concerned about.

Today, we know that pregnancy, postpartum, and even breastfeeding can lead to Postpartum Mood and Anxiety Disorders (PMAD). PMAD is the number one medical complication in late pregnancy and postpartum. PMAD can come on at any point in pregnancy and even after the first year post birth.

Although no one wants to experience this, there is good news in that research and clinical practice have led to better diagnosis and treatment. PMAD does not have to be the silent disease of the past. This session will explore these mood and anxiety disorders, look at treatments and options, and provide allied health professionals with ways to support pregnant and new moms.

Elizabeth Smith, MPH, ICCE, IBCLC, RLC, holds a masters degree in public health with an emphasis in maternal child health. She began working at the University Hospital in 2000 as an educator and quickly moved into the management position for the Department of Perinatal Education. In 2003 she was asked to be on the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative Steering Committee where she worked with a team to get University Hospital designated as the first Baby Friendly Hospital in Utah. She was asked to take the lead for Baby Friendly when the previous coordinator changed jobs. Since then, she has worked to maintain that designation.

Continuing Education Units: One (1) ICEA Contact Hour, One (1) R-CERP