Up to 80% of women experience mild mood changes during pregnancy and in the first few weeks after having a baby. However, up to 1 in 5 moms and 1 in 10 dads will suffer a more serious form of the typical “baby blues”, known as a perinatal mood disorder (PMD).
While the term “postpartum depression” is most commonly known, perinatal mood disorders can include depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), bipolar mood disorders, and postpartum psychosis.
These are serious illnesses that, untreated, can have devastating effects on the mental health of the parent as well as the emotional development of the baby and the wellbeing of the family as a whole.
Symptoms can appear any time during pregnancy and the first 12 months after childbirth. Women of every culture, age, income level and race can develop perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, however, women of color, women from lower socio-economic backgrounds, women with cultural or language barriers, and those with a previous history of mental health issues have a higher risk.
There are effective and well-researched treatment options that can help, which can include therapy, support groups, and medications.
Working in partnership with local providers, organizations, and agencies, the aim of the Santa Clara County Maternal Mental Health Collaborative is to strengthen the support network in our community to ensure all women are screened, treated and referred throughout pregnancy and into the first two years postpartum.
Where can I find help in Santa Clara County?
Santa Clara County Behavioral Health provides support for individuals and families who are in crisis; considering suicide; or struggling with mental illness, substance use, or both. The Behavioral Health Services Call Center can be contacted regarding a behavioral health crisis that you or a family member might be experiencing by calling (800) 704-0900.
Supporting Mamas is an organization where you can find local resources, including therapists, support groups, psychiatrists and more at the Supporting Mamas website.
What should I do if I’m having thoughts of suicide or of harming myself or my baby?
If you or someone you know is having a mental health emergency, you can call the 24/7 toll-free Santa Clara County hotline at 855-278-4204, or dial 911 and ask for a Crisis Intervention Trained (CIT) officer.
How can I or my agency join the Santa Clara County Maternal Mental Health Collaborative?
Email Charadine "Dina" Dore at [email protected]
Postpartum Support International has coordinators in all 50 states and in 40 countries around the world. They offer a toll-free helpline (800-944-4773), online support groups, free weekly Chats With An Expert, as well as educational and training materials.
Helping After Neonatal Death (HAND) is a local organization that offers a free 24/7 phone line (800-908-HAND) and free support groups to help parents, family members, and healthcare providers cope with the loss of a baby before, during or after birth.
Crisis Text Line is a free 24/7 confidential text crisis line. Text “GO” to 741-741 to chat with a trained mental health crisis counselor.
Nextdoor Solutions offers a free 24/7 crisis line (408-279-2962) dedicated to providing prevention and intervention services for domestic violence in Santa Clara County.
The Blue Dot is the national symbol for maternal mental health survivor-ship, support, and solidarity. It raises awareness of maternal mental health disorders, proliferates the blue dot as the symbol of solidarity and support, and combats stigma and shame.