Wednesday 30 April 2014

Marla Ahlgrimm | Postpartum Depression

Marla Ahlgrimm
A few days of the blues is normal, says women’s health expert Marla Ahlgrimm, but extended feelings of depression may point to a more serious problem.

Q: What is the difference between Postpartum Depression and the Postpartum Blues?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Postpartum depression is a serious concern for new mothers. This is a condition where a woman becomes so distraught that she becomes unable to properly care for her infant. Although fairly rare, it has been estimated that the number of women suffering from PPD is upwards of 40,000 each year. The milder and more common Postpartum Blues is short-lived and rarely interferes with a woman’s new role as caretaker. Typically, women with the blues feel exhausted and may cry occasionally but will begin to enjoy their parental responsibilities within two weeks.

Q: Can Postpartum Depression be prevented?

Marla Ahlgrimm: With proper care and techniques, yes. However, it’s vital for a woman to fully understand her risk factors before becoming pregnant. These include having history of hormone-related or previous postpartum depression, being directly related to a women who has experienced PPD, a prior mood disorder including depression or anxiety. Additional research indicates that a woman who has severe PMS may also be at a higher risk for PDD.

Q: Is there a PPD screening process?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Yes, it’s call the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale and it’s used during pregnancy to determine a woman’s risk. Unfortunately, depression isn’t always caught using this scale and so a pregnant woman must be her own advocate.

Q: What are some warning signs of PPD?

Marla Ahlgrimm: There are many potential behaviors that may indicate PDD. A woman who is not sleeping in the weeks following childbirth, particularly when her baby is sleeping well, may be in the throes of depression. Family members may also listen for verbal clues, such as the new mom saying that she feels overwhelmed, unprepared, or unable to perform her duties.


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