Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘depression’

We received this via email recently and had to share…www.childbirthconnection.org is a rich website full of important information for informed mommas and poppas!

New Mothers Speak Out
August 8th, 2008 by Judith Lothian

“Childbirth Connection has just released the findings of their
landmark postpartum research, New Mothers Speak Out
http://www.childbirthconnection.org/article.asp?ck=10413. This was a
follow up study, six months later, of the women who were part of the
Listening to Mothers II research. The results of this survey as as
disturbing as the results of Listening to Mothers II.

The Wall Street Journal reports on the results related to the
incidence of post traumatic stress disorder and postpartum
depression. There is an accompanying podcast on the WSJ website by
Dr. Cheryl Beck. Cheryl is a professor at the University of
Connecticut School of Nursing who researches postpartum depression as
well as birth trauma and was an adviser on the Childbirth Connection
survey. She discusses how to identify symptoms and help women get the
help they need.

Related to the findings on the mental health of new mothers, what
struck me most was that at the time of the survey 63% of mothers were
likely to be experiencing some degree of depressive symptoms and 18%
appeared to be experiencing symptoms of post traumatic stress related
to their birth experience. Most startling, 9% of the mothers appeared
to meet all the formal criteria for post-traumatic stress disorder.
This is the first national survey of post traumatic stress disorder
related to childbirth, and the high number has to be a surprise to
most people. Just as troubling a finding, most mothers experiencing
symptoms had not contacted a health care professional and only 2 out
of 3 mothers who reported that their symptoms interfered with their
ability to care for their baby had contacted a professional for help.

The mothers who reported signs of PTSD in the survey appeared to have
a higher rate of medical interventions and describe feeling powerless
in a threatening environment. I am not surprised. Childbirth
educators and doulas have noted for years now the increased incidence
of PTSD and have shared with each other women’s stories that seemed
to describe a relationship with both the escalating rate of medical
intervention..nearly routine induction, unnecessary and frequent
internal examinations..and impersonal, routine, and, sometimes
abusive treatment of women in labor. It’s not just the stuff that
gets done to women…routinely, abruptly, and uncaringly. It’s the
powerlessness that women feel in an environment that is inherently
frightening at a time when they are vulnerable and literally at the
mercy of the system. Gone are the days of kind words and
encouragement and loving touch. Now it’s get the job done fast or
you’re on the cesarean fast track.

Nine percent is shocking but not a surprise. This is a call to
action. The findings of New Mothers Speak Out is a call to action…for
childbirth educators, doulas, midwives, physicians, and women.
Reducing post traumatic stress disorder related to birth will require
reducing unnecessary routine medical interventions. And treating
women with respect and dignity as they do the hard and sacred work of
giving birth to their babies.”

__._,_.___

Read Full Post »