Anywhere from 7-16% of new moms experience some level of postpartum PTSD, or postpartum post-traumatic stress disorder, according to the MGH Center for Women’s Mental Health, which reviewed a study by McGill University. This study found that risk factors for postpartum PTSD include a history of sexual trauma, higher sensitivity to anxiety or a more negative childbirth experience than expected. A previous study reviewed by MGH found that risk factors for postpartum PTSD included a history of infertility and obstetric complications.
MGH also takes a look at the conflicting studies on the use of antidepressants during pregnancy, concluding, “What we can say at this point is that while SSRIs may affect certain neonatal outcomes, including risk of preterm delivery and low birth weight, they do not appear to dramatically increase the risk of these adverse outcomes.” Studies have also shown that depression during pregnancy increases the risk of preterm delivery. So we’re still stuck in a “chicken or the” egg scenario, ladies.