This just in from ACOG:
Ob-Gyns Encouraged to Screen Women for Depression During and After Pregnancy
“As ob-gyns, we recognize that postpartum depression is a serious health issue that we need to direct more attention toward,” says Gerald F. Joseph, Jr, MD, president of The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Postpartum depression is the theme of Dr. Joseph’s 2009-2010 presidential initiative. “Screening for depression during pregnancy is also important to identify it early on and to help prevent a worsening of the condition after delivery.
“With over 4 million births in the US every year, we’re talking about a huge number of women with postpartum depression—between 200,000 to more than one million each year. Unfortunately, we don’t have the data at this time to support a firm recommendation for universal antepartum and postpartum depression screening,” says Dr. Joseph. “Nonetheless, we realize the importance of screening our patients so that we can start gathering the data for future evidence-based guidelines.”
Multiple depression screening tools are available, according to the new Committee Opinion. Women diagnosed with depression during pregnancy or postpartum should be referred for treatment and follow-up evaluation.
You have got to be kidding me. You think a lot of women have postpartum depression in this country? YOU ARE DAMNED WELL RIGHT THEY DO! AND THEY NEED SUPPORT, NOT TREATMENT!!!!!!!!!
I mean, can you imagine what would happen to postpartum depression diagnoses if new mothers were told “congratulations! Here’s your baby! And your freezer is now stocked with healthy, frozen meals, so you don’t have to shop or meal plan or cook for the first two weeks, and we’ll be sending someone over every day, so you can get a shower, and we’ve set a stack of “visitor guideline” brochures at your door, so everyone who visits brings food and knows to do a load of dishes or laundry when they visit. You’re all set! Happy Babymoon!”
But no. Right now, “treatment” for PPD is usually medication, and nothing else. Doesn’t actually help with any of the root causes of PPD, but makes the mothers less troublesome while they battle it out alone.
Now, I am not suggesting that there aren’t women out there who are genuinely in need of chemical intervention, because that’s the nature of their depression. For those women, pharmaceuticals are a boon. But for the vast, vast majority of women, it’s the combination of the crappiness of the birth experience combined with the complete lack of support from their families and their communities. It’s an established fact that women who have consistent, solid support postpartum have far less PPD than women who don’t.
Once again, ACOG misses the mark.
This blog pretty much says it all. Please go read it, get adequately outraged, and then do something concrete to stop this piece of unexpurgated evil.