Free Postpartum Depression Screening Resources to Know About
Since postpartum depression or PPD is extremely prevalent among mothers who had just given birth whether they are new or not, there are resources around that can help the screening process for the condition. Sometimes mothers who are struggling for months or even years don't end up realizing they had been dealing with PPD. They believed they just were struggling because raising babies is hard work! But really, they had been battling PPD without realizing it or even if they had figured that being the case, they were afraid to be upfront about it.
However, any struggling new mother or mother of young children who is wondering if they have PPD need to call their doctors right away so they can get the help they need. There are also screening resources for these moms that they need to know about as well. The best one around is through Postpartum Support International or PSI as they provide the best resources for screening as well as for immediate help.
In fact, PSI recommends universal screening for PPD through the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) or the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Screen (EPDS). There is no fee to complete these questionnaires as they are available in different languages, and will cover every aspect of PPD. These questionnaires will also cover aspects of other postpartum mental health disorders which include anxiety, OCD, PTSD, and even psychosis. This will be very helpful to the mother as it will allow her to realize that there are many resources that she can tap into for help.
It is really best that these mothers go through the screening process by filling out the questionnaires because healthcare settings are very busy and will not effectively address the issues. This way, after filling out the questionnaires, then the mother will have the proper access to the help that she really needs.
And filling out these questionnaires needs to happen not just one time. In fact, it should be screened during pregnancy as well. Depression during pregnancy can be an indicator of PPD. The first one needs to be filled out at the first prenatal visit, as well as once in the second trimester, then again once in the third trimester.
And after delivery, the mother needs to go back and fill it out again at the first PP check-up or 6 weeks after delivery. Then again 6 and 12 months at the OB's office. And the pediatrician will have the mother fill it out at the 3 months, 6 months, and 9 months check-up as well.
This way, the mother is screened well for her mental health. And if it comes up as positive that she is suffering from PPD, she will be given the proper therapy as well as the medication needed to make sure that she is getting the right help. And she will be kept a closer eye on as well.
Fortunately, there are many tools around to screen these serious issues such as PPD. No mother should ever feel ashamed of getting the help she needs and there is no need to suffer in silence.
“Please note: This article is only informative and should be read as such. To seek professional advise kindly contact your pediatrician or The American Academy of Pediatrics.”