PTSD & Pregnancy

PTSD & Pregnancy

A certain amount of worry is normal when you’re expecting a baby – but what if you have a past diagnosis of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)?

For three in four women, symptoms decrease or remain at a low level during pregnancy, research by University of Michigan Medical School and School of Nursing shows.

However, for one in four women, their PTSD symptoms worsen with pregnancy, affecting their ability to bond with their newborn and increasing their risk of postpartum depression.

Screening pregnant women for possible undiagnosed PTSD is crucial so they can be supported. Women with the strongest social support networks during pregnancy appeared to be protected from the risk of worsening PTSD. Maria Muzik, psychiatrist and leader of the study says, “We hope our results give a message of hope that women who have a past diagnosis of PTSD aren’t all at risk during pregnancy.”

Words by Melissa Cowan

Guest Contributor