Help Post-Partum Depression by 'Asking the Question'

Depression that occurs during pregnancy or after giving birth can be a very serious illness
Depression that occurs during pregnancy or after giving birth can be a very serious illness

A mother in Washington was charged with attempted murder, accused of cutting her three young children’s throats in an effort to stop them from making  noise.

Authorities say she admitted to having “a really rough time” and that her husband complained “when the children cry and make noise.” Her husband also reported that his wife was under a lot of stress and that she always took the children out of his presence when they cried.

According to a local psychiatrist who specializes in mothers living with post-partum depression, this  desperate situation might have been prevented  if the people closest to her who noticed changes in her behavior following the birth of her twins had asked one important question: “How are you feeling?”

“Depression that occurs during pregnancy or after giving birth can be a very serious illness,” said Tina Walch, MD, Medical Director, South Oaks Hospital. “Warning signs may include difficulty sleeping, feeling overwhelmed, having difficulty coping, feeling depressed or anxious, crying, and -- in severe cases -- woman may hear voices or have  thoughts of hurting the baby or themselves.”

Dr. Walch said that asking a woman how she is feeling or how she is coping is an important intervention.

“Then, hearing----really hearing----her answer and connecting her to help and the knowledge that she is not alone.”

Topics: News

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