Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Most women will go through the “baby blues” after giving birth and have moments when they feel down, anxious or inadequate. But if those feelings press on for more than a couple of weeks, or perhaps intensify, a mom may be struggling with postpartum depression, which is a more serious yet treatable condition. “They need to know that it’s OK to ask for help,” says Deona Ryan, Trident Health’s director of Women’s and Children services. “You don’t always have to be supermom.” Trident Health has taken several steps to support moms and shed light on postpartum depression. Before leaving Trident Medical Center or Summerville Medical Center with a new baby, each mom is screened using the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale, which lets her know if she’s at risk. She’s also given information and resources that she can take home and share with others in the family. That’s important because postpartum depression can surface anytime during that first year, and perhaps even past that point. “It familiarizes them with the feelings that they might experience with postpartum depression so they can follow-up with their physicians later,” Ryan says. Otherwise a mom who is struggling might not realize that help is available, or that there’s even a name for what she’s facing. Earlier in her career, while doing research on the subject, Ryan realized that she had gone through postpartum depression without recognizing it. “We all have the way that we want things to go, and that doesn’t always happen.” Trident Health provides counseling for moms in need and also teams up with the non-profit organization Postpartum Support Charleston to offer Moving Into Motherhood, which allows women to connect as they go through the same life-changing experiences. The group meets at 6:30 p.m. the third Monday of the month in the second-floor classroom of Trident Family Center, 9228 Medical Plaza Drive, North Charleston. Postpartum Support Charleston provides a separate support group for women who are suffering or who have suffered from postpartum depression. It meets the first Tuesday of each month at 6:30 p.m. at the Church of the Holy Cross on Daniel Island. This Mother’s Day Weekend, Postpartum Support Charleston held its 10th annual Mom’s Run + Family Fun Day on Daniel Island, with Trident Health as one of the event’s sponsors. Part of Postpartum Support Charleston’s efforts include reaching out to the medical community and encouraging steps like the screenings that Trident Health offers. “I love what Trident does, and the fact that they try to be proactive,” says Holly Fisher, president of the organization’s board. Symptoms that may indicate postpartum depression: • Feelings of anger or irritability • Lack of interest in the baby • Appetite and sleep disturbance • Crying and sadness • Feelings of guilt, shame or hopelessness • Loss of interest, joy or pleasure in things you used to enjoy • Possible thoughts of harming the baby or yourself For more information, visit Tridenthealthsystem.com/baby Callout: “You don’t always have to be supermom.” Deona Ryan, Trident Health’s director of Women’s and Children services
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