Katie Monarch, a licensed clinical social worker, describes how an altered body image after pregnancy can lead to postpartum depression/PPD.
Katie L. Monarch:
Postpartum depression, there’s a lot of body image issues for the moms. We also see a lot of perfectionism in our moms now because they have planned for this baby. They thought they had everything together. They thought once they delivered they would lose the weight if they got back to the gym right away, and when that doesn’t occur, it does contribute to the depression that they are feeling, and what you generally will see that they do start isolating. They do start feeling bad. They do start trying to figure out, “How can I diet, what can I do differently, how can I get that body that I once had?”
So the significant other can play an important role in that piece also, and if she is on medication, talking to that psychiatrist, making sure that the psychiatrist realizes that body image is an issue, because we don’t want her getting on to the diet pills or trying to lose the weight, not eating enough calories if she is breastfeeding etcetera, etcetera. We want to make sure that she maintains healthiness as well.
About Katie L. Monarch, L.C.S.W.:
Katie Monarch is the Project Director for the Post Partum Depression program at St. Joseph Hospital in Orange, California, where she helped design an education-focused facility. At this hospital all new mothers are screened for postpartum depression through the Bridges for Newborns program using the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS).