Pregnancy and the postpartum stage are times of major changes: physically, emotionally, socially, professionally, hormonally…. you get the idea… just about everything is shook up. Anxiety and the blues are common. But when is it more than just baby blues???
When is it time to reach out to a mental health professional for postpartum depression?
Take this ten question online test* and see. A score of 10 or more (out of 30 possible points) is usually an indication to talk to a professional therapist or doctor.
–> Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale <–
*The Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) is a widely used, 10 question questionnaire, to help screen for postpartum depression. It can also be used during pregnancy.
–> If you are having thoughts of suicide today, please seek emergency help. In San Diego, call the Access and Crisis Line at 1-888-724-7240 (available 24 hours/day) or 911.
It can be challenging for new moms to still take that step to reach out – even if they take this test and it clearly indicates a need. Any suggestions?
Ah, you are so right. Reaching out is the hardest part! Many times we will consider counseling ten, twenty, or even more times before taking an active step. The more people who talk openly about anxiety and depression during pregnancy and postpartum, the more we will reduce the stigma around it–one barrier. In my private practice I try to reduce other barriers, such as simple logistics: I welcome moms to bring babies and I offer evening and weekend hours.