May is Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders Awareness (PMAD) Month and Michigan women and families are being urged to learn more about PMAD and available resources by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) Division of Maternal and Infant Health. PMAD, historically known as postpartum depression, affect many Michigan families each year. PMAD is different and more intense than the “baby blues” that many women experience in the weeks after birth of a baby. Symptoms can feel overwhelming and include depression, anxiety, guilt, irritability, anger, difficulty sleeping and eating, feeling disconnected from one’s baby and experiencing frightening and intrusive thoughts. These symptoms can appear during pregnancy and up to two years after a baby is born. PMAD can affect birth mothers, fathers and adoptive mothers. “PMAD affects the physical health and emotional well-being of pregnant and postpartum women,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, MDHHS chief medical executive and chief deputy director for health. “We must join together to increase awareness, reduce stigma and assist women with getting the support and treatment they need.” To help increase understanding of the disorders, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has proclaimed May as PMAD Awareness Month and the Michigan Statewide Perinatal Mood Disorder Coalition is hosting its annual Walk on the Capitol Wednesday, May 8, noon – 2 p.m., at the state Capitol. For more information about PMAD and available resources, visit the Maternal Infant Health Program website.