1) According to leading experts, baby blues last about 10 days. If your symptoms persist or become more severe, you are likely experiencing a PMAD. I wish I had known. I kept wishing away my symptoms and convincing myself they would pass.
2) Insomnia is a very common symptom of PMADs and is not normal for new mothers to experience. Chronic insomnia exacerbates anxious and depressive symptoms. My worst symptom of all.
3) Suicide is a leading cause of maternal death. Women are dying.
4) PMADs are the leading cause of childbirth - more common than postpartum hemorrhages yet doctors are not looking for risk factors or screening for PMADs after childbirth. My OB asked if I had experienced anxiety or depression in the past (a large risk factor) and when I answered yes, she said nothing...
5) Researchers are currently looking at a form of genetic testing to determine which women will be at risk for developing a PMAD. Specifically, researchers are looking at the role estrogen plays in at-risk women.
6) If a woman considers her birth experience to be traumatic (subjectively), she is at a higher risk for developing a PMAD. While by medical standards, I didn't have a traumatic birth, in my mind and still today, I believe I did. My epidural was mildly helpful for only half of the final stage of labor. I pushed for 3 hours and 20 minutes. Labor and delivery nurses told me the rule of thumb was to resort to c-section at 3 hours of pushing, simply because a woman no longer has the stamina to push any longer. They let me continue to push because my progress was "substantial." When I held my daughter for the first time all I remember is feeling angry and betrayed. I was in shock of what I had just endured and I couldn't shake the shock for a few days.
7) Placenta encapsulation - placentas are rich in nutrients but the verdict is still out on whether they can protect against PMADs.
Let's keep supporting and educating. This is every one's business.