The historic passage of the federal health care legislation last week included a provision for a new national postpartum depression (PPD) program. It leaves out the federal screening program so feared by the bill’s opponents, but it includes more money for greater education outreach and more research into this condition. The Melanie Blocker Stokes Mother’s Act passed in watered down form.
Postpartum depression (PPD) is a condition suffered by a minority of women who just gave birth. It is characterized by severe depression and sadness, and often either a lack of interest or even thoughts of harming one’s newborn baby. There is also often the feeling that one will not be a good mother. Postpartum depression may be called the “baby blues,” and sometimes an obstetrician or doctor will minimize the symptoms of this concern by suggesting it is “normal” or something most mothers experience that the woman just needs to “snap out of” or it’ll resolve on its own given time. It may very well indeed, but it may also worsen and like any mental health condition, should be taken seriously.
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