Welcoming a new life into the world is a joyous occasion, but it’s essential to recognize and address the mental well-being of new mothers. At The BirthPlace in Conway Medical, we understand the significance of maternal mental health, and that’s why we’ve implemented the Edinburgh Depression Screening method for new moms before they leave the hospital.
What is Postpartum Depression?
The postpartum period is a time of profound change, both physically and emotionally. While it’s normal for mothers to experience fluctuations in mood and mild depression known as the “baby blues’, a woman with postpartum depression has strong feelings of sadness and anxiety, which hinder her daily activities and ability to care for herself and her family.
“This form of major depression emerges within four weeks after giving birth and affects a significant number of new mothers,” says Laura Baisch, BSN, RN, IBCLC, CLC, the OB Navigator and a Lactation Consultant for The BirthPlace at CMC. “Recognizing the signs early is key to providing timely support before they even leave our facility after giving birth. Early intervention can be crucial in preventing the exacerbation of symptoms and allows us to provide the support our moms need in their journey towards mental well-being.”
Detecting PPD Early
The Edinburgh Depression Screening method allows us to identify and support those at risk of postpartum depression. This evidence-based screening tool helps healthcare professionals assess a mother’s mental health, ensuring that early signs of depression are detected and addressed promptly.
“Our commitment to comprehensive care extends beyond the physical health of our new moms,” explains Baisch. “By incorporating the Edinburgh Depression Screening into our postnatal care protocol, we aim to create a supportive environment for new moms, fostering emotional well-being alongside physical recovery. Motherhood is challenging and we believe that these proactive mental health screenings are crucial in providing the necessary support and resources for those who may be facing further difficulties.”
The screening process is quick and confidential, allowing healthcare providers to engage in open and honest conversations with new moms about their emotional well-being.
“Should a potential risk be identified, our dedicated team of professionals is equipped to offer guidance and connect mothers with appropriate resources to address their unique needs,” Baisch elaborates. “The screening process is not just about identifying depression; it’s about fostering an environment where new moms feel comfortable discussing their mental health. Having open communication with them enables us to tailor support services based on their individual needs.”
Baisch says that they discuss the results of the screening with the new mother and also with their Women’s Health provider so that further follow-up and guidance can occur later.
One of the most helpful resources CMC utilizes is called Mom’s IMPACTT through the Medical University of South Carolina. Mom’s IMPACTT provides on-demand mental health treatment and resources for pregnant and postpartum people and real-time psychiatric consultations for providers through telemedicine and tele-mentoring. “It’s huge for new moms to be able to call in or do a telehealth visit from their phone or computer,” says Baisch. “It breaks down those travel and convenience barriers that could prevent a new mom from seeking the mental health care they need.”
It’s important to note that performing the screening immediately after childbirth does not eliminate the need for a repeat survey later in the postpartum period. When following up with your OBGYN after birth, this screening will be done as postpartum depression may manifest later after you are home and settling into motherhood.
Proactive Support for the Mental Health Needs of New Mothers
By embracing the Edinburgh Depression Screening method, The BirthPlace emphasizes the holistic care of new moms, promoting a healthy transition into motherhood. “We understand that each mother’s experience is unique, and our goal is to create a compassionate and understanding environment that prioritizes both physical and mental health,” says Baisch.
At The BirthPlace at CMC, we believe that by proactively addressing maternal mental health, we contribute to healthier families and stronger communities. Our commitment to comprehensive care ensures that every new mom receives the support she deserves, fostering a positive and empowering start to her journey through motherhood. You can utilize our Yomingo app to access a variety of educational resources to assist you through pregnancy, birth, and postpartum care including a whole section on mental health. Download the app today!