When we think about depression and motherhood, we often think of postpartum depression: something a new mom struggles with after the birth of her child for weeks, months, or even years. However, though depression related to having a baby can happen during the postpartum period, it can also occur during pregnancy and while trying to conceive. Additionally, anxiety is nearly as common as depression during this time, but it's often overlooked. The term "postpartum depression" simply doesn't cover the range of mental health challenges that women face on the journey to and through parenthood.
A new term — "perinatal mental health" — is emerging as a more comprehensive way to categorize depression and anxiety while trying to conceive, pregnant, and/or postpartum. Perinatal mental health encompasses the baby blues, perinatal depression, and perinatal anxiety. Postpartum depression remains a critical health issue — affecting about 11% of new mothers according to the CDC and even more according to Ovia Health research — but it's important to acknolwedge that it doesn't just happen after giving birth, which is why it's folded in to the larger umbrella term "perinatal depression."
Understanding the breadth of the conditions that fall under perinatal mental health gives us more insight into what so many new and prospective mothers are struggling with, often in silence. To learn more about perinatal mental health, and how Ovia Health's clinical research has uncovered that more women are at risk for perinatal depression than previously thought, download our latest whitepaper — Beyond birth: Continuing care for moms when they need it most.
What you should know about perinatal mental health
The impact on women and families
How mental health affects the workplace
How digital platforms are changing the perinatal mental health landscape
What employers and health plans can do today to make a difference