Perinatal Mental Health

There’s often a stigma associated with the term “mental health” – especially when it comes to new and expecting mothers. But adjusting to life with a new baby can be overwhelming, exhausting and, sometimes, even isolating.

That’s why it’s more important than ever to take care of yourself and your mental well-being during pregnancy and after birth – and to know when to ask for help.

Mother holding a baby

You aren’t alone.

Experiencing symptoms of depression before or after the birth of your child is not unusual – and you are not alone. In fact, it’s estimated that as many as 20 percent of women develop some type of pregnancy-related mood disorder.

It can be hard to tell if you’re experiencing normal postpartum blues or something more severe.

Signs and symptoms of perinatal mood disorder

  • Feeling guilty or like a failure as a mother
  • Feeling overwhelmed, not able to accomplish daily activities
  • Trouble concentrating and making decisions
  • Sleep disturbances (too much or inability to sleep when able) 
  • Feeling like you are not normal or not yourself anymore
  • Not being able to enjoy your baby or feeling like you are not bonding with your baby
  • Feeling lonely or all alone 
  • Feeling like your baby might be better off without you

If you’re experiencing any of these, please contact your health care provider to determine what’s best for you. If you have thoughts of wanting to hurt yourself or your baby, please call 911 immediately and stay with someone until help arrives.  

Helpful Resources

Perinatal Depression Peer Support Group

Led by Michele Clark, Certified Nurse Midwife with Northeast Georgia Physicians Group Family Medicine, this support group connects moms who are experiencing feelings of anxiety, depression or obsessive thoughts for support, fellowship and helpful information. Dads and babies are welcome as well! To learn more, call 770-219-9445.

Northeast Georgia Physicians Group Behavioral Health Specialists:

Our Licensed Clinical Social Workers provide guidance and counseling and are experienced in the treatment of mental conditions such as perinatal mood disorder. We recognize there is a stigma associated with mental illness, and that it can be greatly exacerbated during the perinatal period. Because of this, many of our specialists practice within traditional physician office settings or even Urgent Care settings. Visit the NGPG Behavioral Health Specialists page to learn more, including locations and providers.

Postpartum International

Postpartum International offers a 24/7 help line and weekly phone support groups in both English and Spanish. Visit Postpartum International to learn more about resources in Georgia, or call the PSI Helpline at 1-800-944-4773; #1 en Espanol or #2 in English. You can also text 503-894-9453.

Mental Health America of Georgia

Mental Health America of Georgia offers a multitude of resources in our community and state for all kinds of mental illnesses. Learn more at the Mental Health America of Georgia website.