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Social stigma sometimes prevents pregnant women from seeking mental health treatment

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Issues related to mental health are among the "leading causes of death for women in the first year after having a baby," according to perinatal psychiatrist Dr. Erin Bider.

Society often depicts pregnancy as a blissful experience, but for some moms-to-be that's not the case. One psychiatrist discusses risks and treatment for reproductive mental health.

Social stigma leaves some women uncomfortable with speaking about depression or anxiety, and some experts estimate as many as 80% of prenatal women experiencing metal health issues are not diagnosed or treated, according to Dr. Erin Bider, a perinatal psychiatrist for the University of Kansas Health System.

A history of mental illness or sexual assault, infertility and pregnancy complications, socioeconomic status, an unwanted pregnancy, and being a minority are some of the factors that could increase a woman's risk of experiencing psychiatric symptoms, the doctor said.

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When I host Up To Date each morning at 9 a.m., my aim is to engage the community in conversations about the Kansas City area’s challenges, hopes and opportunities. I try to ask the questions that listeners want answered about the day’s most pressing issues and provide a place for residents to engage directly with newsmakers. My email is steve@kcur.org.
Elizabeth Ruiz is a freelance producer for KCUR’s Up To Date. Contact her at elizabeth@kcur.org or on Twitter at @er_bentley_ruiz