Friday, February 13, 2009

We need to shout it out over the roof tops.

After I wrote the posting on my PPD someone send me a link to this article from the Guardian.

Although I'd be the first one to say that I agree with whatever takes anyone through a rough time, I am not a great advocate of anti-depressants. I think there are a lot of cases where they work, and where they have helped people out of a very bad place, but I also think that there is a tendency for Doctors to prescribe them quite liberally, without sufficient monitoring, and without an agreed dead-line with advice on how to come of them properly. I don't think medication should be used as a final solution, it should be a help on the way, a kick in the right direction, to stabilize a condition together with other means of treatment. The most important thing for a mother with PPD is that she is not left to believe that she is alone in her experiences. If health-visitors, OB-GYN's, nurses and mid-wives where properly trained to spot signs of PPD they could catch falling mothers a lot earlier, and guide them in the right direction. To brush a falling mother of with a prescription of anti-d's is like putting the lid on the whole situation. She's not likely to seek further help, but she's also not likely to actually get to the bottom of what's going.

It is important to inform expecting women about PPD when they are expecting so that they can read and understand potential warning-signs themselves. It should be right up there with epidurals and pain-relief. And it is time that all the cutesy mother-baby books stopped talking about "the mother can sometimes feel a little blue but hey, that's OK". We need to start telling it like it is and be honest about what happens when the post partum experience becomes to over-whelming to deal with.

Mothers need to be able to talk to someone who will listen to them and take them seriously. What they don't need is someone who sends them of with a box of pills, and a "now you will live happily ever after".
We don't want zombie-mothers. We want happy, healthy mothers!

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