MIND MATTERS: Maternal mental health

Perinatal mental illness affects 1 in 5 new and expectant mothers.
Published: May. 16, 2023 at 5:05 PM CDT|Updated: May. 16, 2023 at 9:41 PM CDT
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SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - Perinatal mental illness is a significant complication of pregnancy during the postpartum period.

Perinatal mental illness affects 1 in 5 new and expectant mothers with a wide range of conditions. If left untreated, it can have significant and long-lasting effects on the perinatal mood.

Anxiety disorders are also among the most common complications that occur in pregnancy or in the first 12 months after delivery. Despite the negative effects on maternal, obstetric, birth, offspring, partner, and family outcomes, perinatal mental health disorders often remain underdiagnosed and untreated or under treated.

Jessica Latin, a perinatal maternal mental health counselor, says she wants to normalize treatment for maternal mental health because so many women are affected by it.

“The most common women that come into my office are pregnant mothers, so there can be strong anxiety about being pregnant. They might be going through difficult relationships that kind of contribute to their depression or just having a difficult pregnancy. I see a lot of mothers that have experienced birth trauma from having to have an emergency c-section during the labor and delivery process,” Latin said.

Latin recommends an organization that specializes in mental health issues related to childbearing.

“I always direct my clients to Postpartum Support International, and they provide online virtual support groups for a number of demographics. So whether you are LGBTQ plus, if you are a dad that is struggling, it doesn’t matter. They have a group clearly for any and everybody.”

Click here for more information about Postpartum Support International.