BALTIMORE (WJZ) — During Mental Health Awareness Month the Maryland Department of Health is highlighting one of the most common complications in pregnancy and childbirth: maternal mental health conditions.
The department encourages Marylanders to learn the signs and symptoms of mental health conditions pregnant women may experience, such as depression, anxiety disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, bipolar illness and substance use disorders.
Research suggests one in five women is affected by a maternal mental health condition, the department said. Signs and symptoms may include feeling like you never should have become a mother, difficulty bonding with a baby and having problems with eating or sleeping.
“People who are pregnant and new mothers should look for signs of depression and be encouraged to share their feelings with their health providers at all stages of pregnancy,” said Behavioral Health Administration Acting Deputy Secretary Dr. Lisa Burgess. “This knowledge and open communication can help reduce pregnancy-related mental health conditions.”
The department encourages pregnant women to use available programs and services for help, like Doula and birth worker services, home visiting services and the maternal opioid misuse program.
If you or someone you know might be experiencing a maternal mental health condition contact a health professional or Maryland’s helpline by calling 211 and pressing 1, texting 898-211, or visiting pressone.211md.org.