Emotional Complications

Photo Thanks to Camila Damasio

Photo Thanks to Camila Damasio

I think this is good for us all to reflect upon and pull into our lives in whatever way.

I am struck again and again by how many families say they were not fully informed about the range of perinatal emotional complications that they may experience, even though these complications are known to be a common consequence of pregnancy.

The typical brochure that I see about postpartum depression is often titled something like “Signs and Symptoms of Postpartum Depression.” There may be a photo of a mom looking out a window with her baby nowhere in sight, or a mom crying with a baby over her shoulder. There is no mention of pregnant women (60 percent of depression starts before or during pregnancy), no mention of men (about 10 percent of dads experience perinatal depression) and no description of symptoms beyond those typically associated with depression.

I see the lack of information about perinatal emotional complications as a marketing issue as much as anything else. In the past several years, there has been a groundswell of information about postpartum depression. Despite the fact that the media still occasionally confuses postpartum depression and postpartum psychosis, it feels like there is far more information out there than before.

…Finally, we must change the dialogue from postpartum depression to perinatal emotional complications. This language was developed by Dr. Nancy Byatt and MotherWoman, and it helps families better understand what to look out for, and when. If we can do this, we will move from a conversation about women and depression, to ensuring that families have what it takes to care for themselves.

Read the post here.

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