Nurse Carole Sheehan introduces herself and describes postpartum depression (PPD).
Nurse Carole Sheehan:
I am Carole Sheehan. I am a nurse at Carondelet St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tucson and founded the Tucson Postpartum Depression Coalition.
We are working very hard in Tucson to not only raise awareness about postpartum depression, but trying to introduce screening as a method of prevention of postpartum depression through the prenatal visits with a woman’s doctor or whoever is coming into her realm when she is pregnant, and also encouraging distributing information about postpartum depression to pregnant women so that they have tools and resources to get the help that they need.
We use a screening tool to establish that a woman is at risk, but to define it, what it is or what it feels like, I guess I would call on some of the things I have heard women say in the support group that I run.
It is a regular kind of depression. It’s the timing of it that is what makes it postpartum. And what’s different is that the women often don’t necessarily feel depressed, but they might feel angry, irritable, very anxious, have frightening thoughts, and be different than they usually are. They are kind of in a grieving state.
What’s surprising about how they feel is that they don’t expect to feel all these things after having a baby. Postpartum depression is very uncomfortable because of the time of when it occurs for women when they think that they should be happy and enjoying their new role and enjoying their child.
It is very amenable to treatment just like other depressions, and it is usually treated in the similar ways with perhaps antidepressants, psychotherapy, and going to support groups and talking about it.
About Carole Sheehan, M.A., R.N.:
Carole Sheehan is a nurse at Carondelet St. Joseph's Hospital in Tucson, Arizona and the founder of the Tucson Postpartum Depression Coalition. She works to raise awareness about PPD and introduce screening as a method of prevention through prenatal visits. She also encourages the distribution of information about PPD to pregnant women so they have the tools and resources to get help when they need it.