The risk of perinatal mental health illness and its causes

Perinatal mental illness refers to psychological disorders that are found common throughout pregnancy and the postpartum period. The complications after pregnancy might go on for 4 weeks to 3 months. All the disorders that occur before, during or after pregnancy come under perinatal mental illness. Clinical conditions like depression, anxiety, florid psychosis, mania etc, can be observed during this phase. 

Image source: Carry OBGYN

In the course of the postnatal period, the diseases can start happening either right after the delivery of the child or might irregularly occur later than the same. The most prominent factor when it comes to illness is to identify it at the earliest. Along with the treatments and checkups provided for pregnant women, gynecologists should make sure to diagnose the pregnant person’s  mental ailment as early as possible. They should be well-versed with the risk elements, treatment and reliable referral choices available about the sickness. 


With mobility, the risk of post-pregnancy mental disorders increases. Research has proved that such illness is found more in women who migrated to low and middle-income countries. The strain while giving birth marks a clear reason for the sickness in some cases. Issues related to mental health during teenage can also act as a cause by reappearing during pregnancy. 

Other factors include:

  1. Mental health issues in the past.

Having former experience of trauma and mental problems has high chance of contributing to perinatal mental disease. When emotional instability comes as a part of pregnancy, the risk of previous mental health issues aggravating the present psychological state increases. Thus, it is important to be aware of what exactly might trigger the person who is conceiving. 

     2.  Hormonal variations

   Biological changes one     goes through during the maternal period can bring a few variations in the mood. This need not evolve into post-maternal illness, but we cannot neglect the possibility as well.

     3.  Inadequate support

         Maternity is the time when a lot of care and support is needed. It could be from a partner, friend or any close family member. The absence of such intimate care can cause an imbalance and might lead to a lot of stress and health problems.

      4. Childhood trauma

Unpleasant experiences like physical, sexual or emotional abuse from childhood shapes an insecure adult. This will make someone unsure of what their baby needs and how to treat them. Less firm family circumstances, the demise of a close one, domestic violence and so on leaves a deep injury in a person’s mind and it will eventually affect their mental health adversely. Such situations result in less efficiency in handling things post-delivery.

      5. Self-doubt

     The self-confidence of a person decides their attitude and approach towards the events of their lives. The lack of it will make one think that they are less of a parent due to their anxiety about every minute thing. Even if the baby cries, they might think they did something wrong. What we think about ourselves has a lot to do with how successful we become at something. The constant negative thoughts will give rise to mental depression after pregnancy.

        6. Frustrating environment

          The surroundings you live in and the kind of life you lead can also cause postnatal depression. Maybe it seemed fine to manage a packed job schedule before conceiving. But the mental capacity fluctuates once a person becomes pregnant. If plights like financial issues, loss of job etc, happens at that time, never fail to meet the requirements to nourish your mental health.

        7. Crossroads in life

     Sometimes, crucial life events take place during the time of pregnancy. Incidents of death, separation in a relationship, serious sickness and so forth creates a huge uncertainty in one’s mental strength. If it happens during, before or after pregnancy, the person is likely to develop perinatal mental illness. This will influence the mother as well as the baby.

There have been extreme cases of post-pregnancy disorders. Sometimes, infant loss or miscarriage has made the mental health of the mother hit its worst. Instances like that should be managed with utmost and chronic treatment and care. 

Every mother goes through perinatal mental sickness with varying intensity. What should be considered is that every mother goes through it. This calls for lending support and safekeeping at the most intricate level. Happiness and mental peace are required to balance the stress out because eliminating the disease to its fullest is impossible as it comes as a natural part of the pregnancy process. Taking into account a lot of working mothers, the pressure and tension that is imposed on them make them more prone to postnatal depression.

By admin

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