Approximately one in seven women in the U.S. experience some form of postpartum depression (PPD), postpartum OCD or postpartum anxiety, which may be more common than PPD. And these mood disorders don’t necessarily only come right after a baby is born — they can hit up to a year postpartum. Sadly, many women suffering from postpartum mood disorders receive no help or inadequate help.
Chances are, you or someone you know has suffered or is currently suffering from a postpartum mood disorder. As part of National Maternal Depression Awareness month, we want to share these tools that will hopefully help you or your loved one get needed relief.
1. The Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale
This simple questionnaire is commonly used in OB offices, usually around the 6-week postnatal check-up, to determine if a patient is suffering from a postpartum mood disorder. You can access the quiz here.
2. Professional help
If you think you may be showing some of the signs of a postpartum mood disorder, it’s worth checking with a mental health professional. Your insurance policy should include mental health coverage, and some companies offer free counseling to their employees and their family members through an employee assistance program (EAP). You may have a lot to gain from getting professional help instead of trying to tough it out. Although postpartum mood disorders are more commonly known, many women experience them before and during pregnancy. These women may be at a higher risk for postpartum mood disorders, and seeking early treatment is key.
3. The Postpartum Depression and Anxiety workbook
This workbook was developed by three medical health professionals who specialize in perinatal mental health. Through a series of simple exercises and worksheets, the book uses clinically proven methods to reduce anxiety, depression and OCD in mothers, pregnant women and fathers, who are also susceptible to these mood disorders.
4. The Healing Group
This Utah health clinic offers both affordable counseling and free postpartum support groups for women suffering from postpartum mood disorders and a variety of other women’s issues.
5. “Dropping the Baby and Other Scary Thoughts”
This book was published by two clinicians to help women cope with the anxious and sometimes scary thoughts of motherhood that are surprisingly common.
6. Postpartum Progress
Postpartum Progress, Inc. is a non-profit organization founded by a mother who battled postpartum OCD. She created postpartumprogress.com, the most widely-read blog on postpartum depression and other mental illnesses related to pregnancy and childbirth. Postpartum Progress provides valuable information on postpartum depression and other mood disorders in straightforward “mom language.” The organization also offers events and resources to help moms overcome maternal mental illnesses.
7. Climb Out of Darkness 2016
Climb Out of Darkness is the world’s largest event that raises awareness of maternal mental illness, including postpartum depression, anxiety, OCD, psychosis and pregnancy depression and anxiety. Utah will host climbs in Provo, Salt Lake City, Ogden and Toole on Saturday, June 18th. For more information, click here.
If you know someone who could benefit from the tools in this article, please share it.