Do we really know how postpartum women are feeling?
To physicians and other healthcare practitioners: If you are not asking these questions of each postpartum woman, you do not know how she is feeling:
To postpartum women: If your healthcare provider is not asking you these questions, take this list with you and be sure they know how you are feeling:
- Have you had PPD before?
- Do you have a history of depression?
- Are you sleeping okay when your baby sleeps?
- Any changes in your appetite?
- Are you experiencing anxiety or panic?
- Are you afraid to be alone with your baby?
- Do you feel more irritable or angry than usual?
- Are you worried about the way you feel right now?
- What worries you the most about the way you feel?
- Are you afraid you might lose control?
- Are you afraid of the thoughts you are having?
- Do you wonder if you’re a bad mother?
- If you are breastfeeding, how important is that to you?
- Do you ever have thoughts about hurting yourself?
- Do you find it hard to make decisions?
- Does your husband know how you are feeling?
- How do you feel about taking medication if it helps you feel better?
- Are there other stressful events that are impacting the way you feel?
- Is there anything you are afraid to tell me, but think I should know?
Tips for professional and family support:
- Do not assume that if she looks good, she is fine.
- Do not tell her it’s normal to feel this way after having a baby.
- Do not assume this will get better on its own.
- Do encourage her to get a comprehensive evaluation.
- Do take her concerns seriously.
- Do let her know you are there if she needs you
copyright 2011 Karen Kleiman postpartumstress.com