In the News
NICU Moms Are Struggling With Mental Health Problems — And They Aren’t Getting Help
Up to 70 percent may suffer from postpartum depression.
A few weeks into her third trimester, Stephanie May, 32, called her OB-GYN. Her back hurt and she was having cramps, all of which sounded fairly typical to the doctor on call. He suggested she take it easy and hydrate, so May settled in for some sleep.
When she woke up, she was in full-on labor and rushed to the emergency room. By the next morning, her daughter Evie was born — nine weeks early. May saw her for about a second before the newborn was whisked up to the neonatal intensive care unit while May stayed behind on the delivery table, stunned. . .
We Need To Talk More About Depression During Pregnancy
Inside the hidden pain of prenatal depression.
In the last decade, awareness about postpartum depression and anxiety has blossomed. Support communities have sprung up. Celebrities like Hayden Panettiere and Drew Barrymore have revealed their personal struggles. Public health officials have pushed for better screening, recognizing that postpartum depression is a serious mental health issue that affects a sizable proportion of new mothers.
Can You Get Postpartum Depression AFTER the First Year?
Lately I have received numerous calls from moms whose kiddos are past the one-year mark. A couple of recent calls have been from moms whose kiddos are as “old” as 3. These moms always start the same way: “My son/daughter is almost (1, 2, 3), and so I know that I don’t have postpartum depression. But I am really unhappy and think that I need help. I know that your specialty is PPD, so can I still come see you?”
While I can’t make a blanket statement about each and every woman who calls me, more time than not these women—one, two, or three years past the birth of their little ones—are struggling with a form of maternal distress that dates back, in one way or another, to their pregnancy, postpartum, or even before. While these moms wouldn’t technically have postpartum depression any longer, they are often struggling with what I will call here continued postpartum distress that was never adequately supported when they first noticed symptoms.
Postpartum Depression Isn't Normal, It's Complicated
When a friend says postpartum depression is normal, I get disappointed.
When a psychologist says postpartum depression is normal, I get worried.
When a New York Times best selling author and former U.S. congressional candidate with hundreds of thousands of followers says that postpartum depression is normal, I get livid.
Normal Postpartum Adjustment and PMADs: Understanding the Difference
Norm Postpartum Adjustment vs. Postpartum Mood Disorders
I was recently asked to speak about the difference between normal postpartum adjustment and perinatal mental illness at a Maternal Wellness Summit in Denver. My first reaction was, “Sure. That is simple. I know this like the back of my hand.”
The Gut-Wrenching Choices Women Face When Contemplating Pregnancy After PPD
Deciding whether to try for another baby after postpartum depression is so complex
Weeks after giving birth to her daughter two years ago, Becky Schroeder, 31, began to realize something was very, very wrong. She was a busy, sleep-deprived new mom, but when short windows of rest presented themselves, she couldn’t slow her mind and body down enough to fall asleep. She couldn’t eat. She began having daily panic attacks, and was slowly sinking beneath regret about becoming a mom.
10 Things to Know about Psychotherapy
Treatment for PPD
Every time a mom in distress calls me to schedule a new therapy appointment, I am reminded of the courage that this takes. Society just doesn’t set us up for the reality of needing this type of support after having a baby. Women are led to envision romantic moments around breastfeeding, moments cradling a swaddled baby who sleeps peacefully with a light smile on her lips, loving and contented embraces with partners, and sweet jaunts through the park with a baby carriage in which a baby lies peacefully.