Understanding Peripartum Mood Disorders, presented by Sarah Siders

Presentation slides available here.

For a handout version of this page, click here.

Peripartum Mood Disorder Risk Factors

What makes a mother at risk for developing a peripartum mood disorder? Here are some of their more common risk factors to be aware of:

  • History of anxiety or depression
  • Recent stressful life events
  • Inadequate social supports
  • Poor marital relationship
  • Low self-esteem
  • Childcare stress
  • Difficult infant temperament or medical issues
  • Type-A personalities with high need for control
  • Single marital status
  • Unplanned or unwanted pregnancy
  • Lower socioeconomic status or financial troubles
  • Traumatic childbirth/labor experience
  • Conflict or poor relationship with own mother
  • Poor self-care
  • Dissonance between expectations and reality
  • Difficulty with breastfeeding

Flint Hills New Mother Resources

  • OB Education groups during pregnancy at IACH
  • Delivering Change OB support in Junction City and Manhattan
  • New Parent Support Program for military dependents
  • Healthy Start Home Visitors through county health departments
  • Safe Harbor Postpartum Group on Fort Riley
  • New Parent Support Playgroups on Fort Riley
  • Becoming a Mom Groups – Riley and Geary County health departments
  • La Leche League and other breastfeeding support groups
  • Little Apple Mommy meet-ups
  • FlintHillsBirthResources.com
  • Prenatal, labor and postpartum doulas (support)
  • Birth education – Little Apple Doulas

Tips for helping Mothers adjust to motherhood

  • Know the risk factors and screen for symptoms regularly – use EPDS tool
  • Educate her on PMD symptoms and impact
  • Plan ahead for how her prenatal mood disorder may impact her after baby comes
  • Identify and correct unrealistic expectation
  • Define “normal” for baby and mom
  • Help her build her village
  • Refer to Home visitor programs
  • Invite her to a postpartum group like Safe Harbor or a breastfeeding group
  • Recommend local Playgroups
  • Help her recognize physical and emotional triggers and plan for them
  • Build mantras and positive self-talk
  • Focus on what she pays attention to
  • Involve supportive friends or family


Holistic Wellness for Mothers

Support Circles

References from conference presentation

Additional Online Communities, Training and Resources:

Postpartum Progress

Postpartum Support International (PSI)

For a handout version of this page, click here.