Dr. Dunnewold shares preventative steps a pregnant woman can take to ward off PPD/Postpartum Depression.
I think one of the most important is to know her own mental health history. Does she have a previous history of depression or anxiety because then she is going to be more at risk, and she needs to then connect with a network of health professionals perhaps who know what to watch for, know when to begin the medication.
She can educate herself about what those entities would be, what kind of symptoms she might start having, and then inform those in her circle, whether it’s husband or mother or mother-in-law who comes to help.
These are the things to watch for and, "These are the kind of help that I am going to need. The kinds of aid that I am going to need is that I am going to need to take naps. I am going to need to take care of myself. I am going to need to be able to develop myself to self-care and the baby and have other people take care of the rest of the issues in the household." That’s every new mother ought to be doing that whether she is at risk for postpartum depression or not. It’s, we should just take better care of new mothers.
But particularly if you have a previous history of depression or anxiety you are more at risk, but you can decrease that risk a lot by structuring the right kind of help in the postpartum period.
About Dr. Ann Dunnewold, M.A., Ph.D.:
Dr. Ann Dunnewold is a licensed psychologist practicing in Dallas, Texas. With 25 years experience helping women cope with life issues, Ann assist in addressing parental guilt and worry, creating a balance between family, self and work, postpartum depression, couples counseling and more. She received her M.A. and Ph.D in counseling Psychology from Ohio State University and is registered by the National Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology. Dr. Dunnewold uses an eclectic therapy approach to focus on the here and now and changes thinking to change behaviors.