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Why So Many Women Don’t Seek Help For Postpartum Depression

Excerpts from an article in the Huffington Post on the stigma surrounding postpartum depression

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“At the time, I didn’t know what it was,” said Farr, 40, of that period six years ago. “It didn’t occur to me it was postpartum depression; I thought I was just tired.”

'Eight months in, Farr saw a counselor and confided she was unsure that she had it in her to be a mom. The counselor suggested she might have postpartum depression and recommended she see a doctor, but Farr did not want to. Despite her increasingly pronounced distress, she did not want to put a label on her situation.'

From a BabyCenter Survey, 'Overall, 21 percent of the mothers polled said they had been given a diagnosis of postpartum depression or felt they might have it.

But 40 percent of those women did not seek any medical help.

Among the women who did not seek medical help for postpartum depression symptoms, 30 percent said it was because they felt strong enough to “get over” their feelings without a doctor, while 26 percent felt their symptoms were not serious enough to warrant a discussion. Twenty-five percent said they were too embarrassed to admit their feelings, while 23 percent said they felt guilty about them and 16 percent said they did not want to be labeled mentally ill.

The survey found that the majority of conversations about postpartum depression that did happen occurred in the final trimester, while a woman was in the hospital after giving birth or at her postpartum appointment, which generally takes place six weeks after delivery. But postpartum depression can develop at any time within the first year after the birth of a new baby, and many women do not notice anything is wrong for months'

Source: Huffington Post

What is a provocation or insight that might inspire others during this challenge?

How might we provide a supportive environment that encourages women with postpartum depression to seek help?

How might we make it easier for women with postpartum depression to seek help?

How might we provide resources to help expectant dads, friends and families identify and support new moms suffering from postpartum depression?

How does this research relate to our use cases and personas?

All personas and use cases here can be affected by postpartum depression, especially the under-resourced mom.

'More than half of low-income urban mothers met the criteria for a diagnosis of depression at some point between two weeks and 14 months after giving birth, according to a study led by University of Rochester Medical Center researchers and published online by the journal Pediatrics.' - http://goo.gl/FjKyv1

Tell us about yourself:

I am a Community Manager for this challenge.

Are you currently an employee of Sutter Health or UCB Pharmaceuticals?

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