Postpartum Anxiety and Depression Are Preventable: Know Your Risk Factors


Anxiety and depression during and after pregnancy are common, yet many women don't recognize symptoms or know their own risk factors. Very often, expectant or new moms don’t know what to do for themselves when they begin to have problems. Many women try to push through without asking for help, which usually just make things harder.

Preventing Postpartum Anxiety and Depression

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has just announced their recommendation for preventing maternal anxiety and depression, recommending that doctors refer their patients to counseling—-before, during and after pregnancy. Their findings point to the effectiveness of counseling in preventing and treating postpartum mood and and anxiety disorders, in particular Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Interpersonal Therapy.

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Know Your Risk Factors for Anxiety and Depression

As with any health issue, staying well means knowing when you’re at risk. There are a number of things that can increase your risk for postpartum anxiety and mood disorders. Knowing your risk factors can help you prevent anxiety and mood disorders by allowing you to act to take care of yourself before there is a problem. Risk factors include:

  • History of depression or anxiety

  • History of trauma, including childhood abuse and neglect, previous sexual assaults

  • Lack of social or family support

  • Previous miscarriages, still birth, newborn death

  • Complications during pregnancy or the birth process

  • Traumatic loss

How Counseling and Therapy Can Help

It’s important to know that you are not alone in what you’re going through, and that these issues are not only treatable, but preventable. One out of 7 women suffer from depression and anxiety during or after pregnancy. Counseling can help you in the following ways:

  • Learn new tools to support you in meeting the new challenges of parenting

  • Developing a preventive self care plan for pregnancy and postpartum

  • Strengthen your support system

  • Learn to ask for help and assert your needs

  • Learn self care and coping skills to minimize your risk and manage symptoms

Postpartum Depression and Anxiety are treatable and preventable.  If you'd like to learn more about how I can help, please contact me for a free phone consultation at (626) 808-5463 or write to me at