January is Baby Safety Month, and articles here have taken various looks at aspects of baby safety in the home, community and family life.
Learn What Happens With Pregnancy Post-partum Depression happens with the combined experience of delivering the baby and then in dealing with the hormonal and physical changes that happen at a rapid rate. It takes 9 months to build the fetus inside the Mother's womb, and all those various body fluids and elevated hormones take a while to drop back to normal levels, either in the blood stream or to reduce their rate of production in the body back to what they were before they were supporting two. (CNN says that a small percentage of men get this too) This experience can go on for as long as a YEAR after delivery, and so it is pretty important to understand the IMMEDIATE time after delivery, but also the ongoing healing process. http://www.womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/dep...
Understand Post Partum Depression Can Happen Most families get education about the possibility of a change like Post-Partum Depression when they go to the OBGYN appointments. Warm lines can help understanding the difference between fear and stress, as does just having an ear to offer helps some before or during post-partum days. http://www.postpartum.net/Get-Help/Support-Resources-Map-Area-Coordinato...
Have A Personal Life Plan For Wellness Understanding about life personal balance and wellness prior to the birth of the child, helps most Mothers anticipate the demanding process of pregnancy and delivery. Having others to talk to, having help when needed and getting plenty of rest makes it possible for many to weather their post-partum days. Get a clear picture of what "normal" post-partum days can look like from your MD.
Ask A Therapist If You Need Help As a mental health therapist, I have often had panicked calls from the new Father, noting that their partner is now "different" and can't seem to snap out of it. http://www.nami.org/Template.cfm?Section=Women_and_Depression&Template=/... Any possible spectrum of symptoms can present, including extreme things like suicidality or homicidality, unprovoked.
FAMOUS PEOPLE DO NOT ESCAPE POST PARTUM DEPRESSION A famous Oscar winning actressGwyneth Paltrow http://www.usmagazine.com/celebrity-moms/news/gwyneth-paltrows-husband-c... noted in a recent news release, that she had no problems whatsoever with her first pregnancy, but with the second, had marked differences in personality and behavior, motivations and thinking. As a spokesperson for Planned Parenthood, she has kept a handle on issues regarding reproductive health. She made a decision to use medications, when all else failed. She discussed this with family and her physicians.
Get Assessed For ANY Mental Health Issues Before Pregnancy and Be HONEST Getting an assessment regarding depression in general, and possibly post-partum depression allows the new Mother to understand if this is merely a transitional phase post delivery or if there are other things to consider. People who are honest about their symptoms, and who discuss their diagnosis and medications needs with their OBGYN and Psychiatrist usually are able to keep their symptoms stable, and avoid hospitalizations or worse.
Medication Studies Show Eli Lily had many studies out of Atlanta in the early 2000's and there was much tracking of the use of anti-depressants in Mothers during pregnancy and post partum, who had either existing diagnoses of depressive illness or post- partum depression. Most results had favorable returns both for the Mother and the infant. Medications for pretty much anything have possible side effects, and it is best to have an educated discussion with a licensed professional before making any decision regarding your health.
Gimme A Re-Cap For New Moms: Post partum depression is pretty common. Understand what it is before delivery. Develop a plan of support for talking, sleep and infant care resources. Make sure your partner understands the signs and symptoms. Understand there are Mommy support resources and groups by phone or in person 24/7. http://www.postpartumprogress.com/ppd-support-groups-in-the-u-s-canada Understand medications can help, but are not always the best answer, Find a pharmacology specialist, like Psychiatrist Andrea James, MD (405) 535 9400 who readily deals with women's health issues and cooperatively works with Obstetrictians and Gynecologists in OKC to offer a consultation. Dr. James is located at 1330 North Classen, along with the Potawotamie WIC office ( for any user) and mental health counselors, such as myself who provide individual and couples counseling over issues of post partum depression, fertility struggles and loss of a child.