Columbus Parent: Beyond the Baby Blues
When a women has a baby, society says that should be a happy time for the new mom. However, some mothers have a condition called postpartum depression, or maternal depression. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 10 to 15 percent of all women experience postpartum depression after giving birth.
Symptoms of postpartum depression can include fatigue, anxiety and feelings of restlessness and worthlessness. Hospitals and doctors have recently started to pay more attention to the serious condition. At OhioHealth hospitals, nurses discuss the condition with patients during their hospital stays and a fact sheet about depression is sent home with new moms.
Dr. Anita Somani, MD, obstetrician/gynecologist at OhioHealth Riverside Methodist Hospital with Comprehensive Women’s Care, told Columbus Parent reporter, Kathy Lynn Gray, that she monitors her patients. During prenatal visits, she asks about their feelings and pays particularly close attention to women with depression in their family history. Then during postnatal visits, Dr. Somani talks with them again and tries to measure their thoughts. She asks 10 questions which are designed to gauge depression.
“The reality is it’s hard work, you’re not sleeping because of the demands of the baby and you’re not taking care of yourself,” Dr. Somani told Gray. “It can be overwhelming.”
The transition to parenthood can be difficult for anyone. But Dr. Somani said it can be even tougher for professional women who are very used to accomplishing a lot each day. And new mothers might have trouble accomplishing anything more than taking care of their family and feeding or changing their newborns.
“I tell mothers that if you get a shower by noon, you should feel like you’ve accomplished a lot,” she told Columbus Parent.
While it’s hard for professional women, the American Academy of Pediatrics says that the amount of women with postpartum depression increases to 40 to 60 percent for low-income women and teen mothers.
New moms should seek help and call their doctor or child’s pediatrician if they are feeling depressed, extremely anxious or unable to cope. Studies have shown that helping these mothers get better is essential for the child’s health as well.
To learn more about Women’s Health at OhioHealth, click here.
To learn more about postpartum depression, available resources and to read the full Columbus Parent article, click on the logo below.