Recent Utah data show 13.8% – or 1 in 7 women – report having postpartum depression. Nationally, postpartum psychosis, a condition related to bipolar disorder affects, 1or 2 mothers for every 1,000 births and can endanger moms and newborns. “Depression and anxiety are the most common complications of childbirth. Women need to know what to look for and what to do at every stage of pregnancy as well as the first year postpartum,” says Amy-Rose White, LCSW.
White is a perinatal psychotherapist and founder of the Utah Maternal Mental Health Collaborative (UMMHC). She has dedicated her life and career to serving postpartum women after going through PPD herself. She says the film, Dark Side of the Full Moon, is a must-see for women, their families, and providers as it will help them recognize the symptoms of PPD and anxiety which include:
- Racing thoughts
- Constant worry about baby’s safety
- Irritability, anger, or rage
- Guilt about your feelings
- Tearfulness and sadness
- Intrusive images
- A mother who had postpartum depression
- William Cosgrove, MD, President, Utah Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics
- Julie Frenette, Certified Nurse Midwife
- Amy-Rose White, LCSW, Perinatal Psychotherapist
“Mental health problems affect mom’s bonding with baby, marital relationships, and the child’s short- and long-term development if she doesn’t get help,” adds White. “Suicide is the second leading cause of death in the first year after a woman gives birth.”
Julia Robertson with the Utah Department of Health MotherToBaby project says women need to know that if they have mental health problems during pregnancy or breastfeeding, they can be safely treated with therapy and medication. “Depression and anxiety medications are among the most studied of all drugs, and their use continues to show that babies and moms are healthier when mom manages the illness with the help of her doctor.” For information on medications in pregnancy, visit http://health.utah.gov/prl/.
The UMMHC gives women and families information and resources via its website, www.utahmmhc.com. A care algorithm and treatment resources to guide medical practitioners is also available. The Collaborative offers training throughout Utah to improve prevention, awareness, screening, and detection of maternal mental health disorders.
The film’s sponsors warn viewers that some of the images can be disturbing for women who have experienced postpartum depression and other mental health disorders in pregnancy.
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