First 5: Is your child Ready? Baby blues
By Kathleen Guerrero January 18, 2016, Mountain Democrat
I have said many times that I have never met a parent that didn’t want what’s best for their child. Being a parent is hard work. There is plenty of focus on taking care of the child and we sometimes forget to take care of ourselves.
Jamie Bowman, a nurse with the Best Beginnings newborn home visiting program at Marshall Medical Center, knows firsthand after delivering her daughter Kallie.
“When I went home I was extremely sleep-deprived and restless. I really struggled with pretty much everything,” she recalled. “I was so anxious that I wouldn’t leave my bedroom out of fear. And I cried all day, every day.”
Jamie had postpartum depression, which caused her crying. She also had a perinatal mood disorder, which was responsible for the anxiety and obsessive-compulsive behaviors including hyper vigilance — she couldn’t sleep because she was always watching the baby.
The American Academy of Pediatrics reports “about 12 percent to 20 percent of women develop depression or anxiety following a delivery and up to 10 percent of fathers suffer depression as well.”
Symptoms can include:
• Feelings of guilt, worthlessness or anxiety
• Lacking energy or motivation
• Sleeping too much or too little
• Trouble focusing, remembering or making decisions
• Loss of interest in the activities you usually enjoy
• Withdrawal from friends and family
As a Best Beginnings nurse, Jamie shares her own experience with new mothers. She also makes home visits during the first few weeks after birth and screens for signs of postpartum depression such as weight loss, excessive crying and anxiety. When she encounters a mother she thinks is struggling, she refers her to counseling or other resources for help.
If you are concerned that you or a loved one is struggling with depression please contact your doctor.
For more information about Best Beginnings contact Marshall Medical Center at (530) 626-2770 ext. 2315 or Barton Community Hospital at (530) 543-5892.
In addition to home visiting, both hospitals offer ongoing new parent groups to share and learn from each other in preparing and welcoming your newborn.
The healthier you are, the better you can be for your child. Happy New Year.
Sections of this article were reproduced from “Bringing Home Baby,” a publication of the Sacramento News and Review (2013), first5sacregion.com