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Part 2 - Doctor, Doctor: Turning To Your Doctor For Help

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By Mia Bolaris-Forget

While many women have looked for love in all the wrong places, it’s no surprise that many expectant moms’ look for love and support in all the wrong places, or often not at all, especially when it comes to personal issues like postpartum depression.

Frightened, confused, and often embarrassed by their “unexplained” feelings, they are reluctant to seek out professional help, relay their feelings to friends and family and to find a support group full of women in similar situations.

One of the most comforting thoughts mom’s fail to consider is looking no further than their telephone re-dial. It’s more than likely that your pediatrician’s number is already on there, and, according to experts, your baby’s new baby’s doctor can play a significant role in early detection and treatment of PPD.

Recent studies indicate that this common condition may be readily detected via maternal screenings conducted at “standard” Well-Child visits. These visits are generally conducted throughout the first year of the baby’s life and offer moms (and dads) the opportunity to take a (PPD) diagnostic questionnaire.

Postpartum depression has been classified as a frequently occurring condition in moms. In fact statistics show that approximately 10 to 25 percent of women in their childbearing years (18 - 44 years old) are prone to its affects. The incidence is so “typical” that there has been an increasing interest in screening for it at OB-BYN visits during the 4 – 6 postpartum visits. The concern however remains reluctance by women to attend due to the symptoms associated with their situation, or because some may not even be feeling any of the symptoms at that point.

Experts further suggest that because OB-GYN’s don’t do a “formalized” screening, and because women are less likely to “ignore” their child’s need (than their own), they probably would NOT refrain from keeping an pediatric appointment; hence giving the healthcare provider to observe the parent and conduct the necessary “testing”.

Testimony by clinicians additionally revealed that the questionnaire served as an excellent educational source for moms and opened the window of opportunity to evaluate the mother and mother/child relationship.

They add that mom’s too should be conscious of their feeling and emotions. They should take note of any unwarranted and extended feelings of lethargy, anxiousness and of course, sadness. Also note any fears (especially around your child), and complications with eating or sleeping (not withstanding waking up for baby), loss of concentration or general interest in life and thoughts of harming yourself or the child….especially if you’ve suffered through similar episodes before or if the symptoms prevail for longer than two weeks.

Healthcare professionals say PPD is a serious condition that should and needs to be addressed and mothers taught (even before hand) what to expect from parenthood, what to look for and how to handle new and potentially “stressful” situations. They also emphasize the need for a universal screening tool for postpartum depression….and they urge women with any concerns and/or symptoms to consult their healthcare provider for additional information and guidance.

Next: Mood Enhancers: Preventing PPD >>

Long Island Health, Fitness & Beauty Articles > Part 2 - Doctor, Doctor: Turning To Your Doctor For Help

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