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Common Concerns About Mental Health in Pregnancy and Pospartum

1 in 5 birthing people will experience a perinatal mood and anxiety disorder. Your questions and concerns are valid- and you are not alone in feeling them. 

I'm Having Scary Thoughts and Am Frightened

If you’re worried about dark or graphic thoughts you’re having and you know they're wrong, that’s a good sign. It means you love your baby so much, the thought of something bad happens to them alarms you. These scary, or intrusive, thoughts happen to approximately 70-100% of new parents. More frequently to good mothers struggling with depression and anxiety. Sharing these alarming thoughts with someone you trust can bring some relief, even if that feels hard. These thoughts are not who you are, they are a symptom of the disorder and often respond well to medication and/or supportive talk therapy.

I'm Scared to Meet a New Therapist or Doctor

Understandably so! You are navigating an enormous challenge and it's natural to feel concerned a new person won't understand. If you're talking with someone we connected you to, rest assured they are ready to give you the help you deserve. Here are a few tips that may help ease your fears:

  • Try talking on the phone before meeting face to face.

  • Some therapists and psychiatrists are very open to phone communication and can manage your treatment through a blend of this and in-person treatment.

  • If you’re still not ready to reach out for professional help, contact us and we can help you navigate this process. We’ve been there.

I'm Afraid to Take Medication

Medication is a common first-line treatment for moms with moderate to severe PMADs. If you're afraid of side effects and risks, you are not alone. Many women worry about the impact on their child if pregnant or breastfeeding.


Here are a few factors to keep in mind as you work through this decision with your medical team:

  •  There are many safe, tested medications available for pregnant and breastfeeding women.

  • For some, the risk of not taking medication can be worse than the risk of taking them. Medication addresses the brain chemistry that has been altered by your perinatal mood and anxiety disorder.

  • Most side effects, if any, get better as your body adjusts to the medication. You can work closely with your doctor to address any bothersome sensations or reactions while on medication.

  • If you are already on medication, please do not stop taking it without consulting with your doctor. They should contact The Periscope Project prior to making any changes to your treatment plan.

  • If your provider recommends a new medication and you don't feel comfortable, please ask them to initiative a joint consultation with The Periscope Project to talk through your options.

Don't see an answer to your concern? Let's talk it through.

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