Please Explain: Postpartum Depression and Perinatal Psychiatry

Friday, January 15, 2010

On today's Please Explain, we'll look into the causes and symptoms of postpartum depression, and the field of perinatal psychiatry, the evaluation and treatment of psychiatric disorders associated with female reproductive function. We're joined by Dr. Catherine Monk, Irving Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychology, Columbia University Medical Center, and Dr. Shari Lusskin, Director of Reproductive Psychiatry, at NYU Langone Medical Center and Mt. Sinai Medical Center.


Dr. Shari Lusskin, and Dr. Catherine Monk,

Comments [22]

linda klempner from teaneck, nj

Another important resource for perinatal mood and anxiety disorders is the nonprofit org--Postpartum Support International ( PSI has a non-emergency Warmline in Spanish and English to get basic information and resources. There is also a free Chat with an Expert, both for dads and moms each week. PSI's motto is: You are not alone, you are not to blame and with help, you will be well.

Jan. 22 2010 06:34 PM
Jessica Shapley from NYC

I am glad this topic is being addressed. People should know what resources are out there: Post in NY
Post Partum Resource Center 631 422 2255
Crisis Line 800 273 8255
Crisis Line 212-305 6001 (monday thru Fri 9-5)

Jan. 15 2010 04:50 PM
Shoshana from Brooklyn

I have to give another shout out to Brooke Shields and NPR. After an awful epidural headache that lasted a week (unsuccessfully treated at the hospital), I couldn't nurse or take care of my baby. I suffered from undiagnosed PPD, almost a year, until I heard Shields on Fresh Air and realized what it was.

Jan. 15 2010 03:30 PM
Pat Vena,LCSW from Lakewood, nj

My response is to Jessica,Highlands..she has classic symptons of PPD and can call Speak Up When You Are Down NJ family health line 800# for help. free! I work with moms that are at risk for PPD daily.

Jan. 15 2010 02:21 PM
Judy from NJ

What about post-partum depression when there's no baby?
I had an anencephalic pregnancy (neural tube defect resulting in no brain development, 100% fatal resulting in still born or death after delivery) that was terminated after 18 weeks. I was extremely depressed and assumed it was because of the situation. My ob-gyn referred me to a psychiatrist who diagnosed post-partum depression. She said that there was still hormonal activity that could lead to depression, perhaps even more because of the abrubt not normal early pregnancy end.

I am curious about this phenomenom.

The outcome was I didn't want to take medication because I wanted to get pregnant again and did so 3 months later. I continued in therapy throughout the pregnancy and beyond and with a lot of support had a healthy baby and no depression.

Jan. 15 2010 02:07 PM
Bipolar from The Garden State

I’m Bipolar. The one constant study that has come up over and over the last 20 years while I have been taking Lithium is that once you stop taking lithium, the chances of it working again to treat mania drop dramatically and most likely the dosage will have to be increased to have the same effect. Plus the longer your off lithium the more likely you wont respond to any medication in the future. Is your guest suggesting you should stop taking lithium for pregnancy? I’m male so no problems here. But how can you be a healthy mom if your loosing your mind? Maybe medicated bipolar people should not get pregnant?

Jan. 15 2010 01:58 PM
Estela Lopez from White Plains

I’m originally from Mexico, I moved to the US 10 years ago, and believe me I never heard about this topic en my country, once a women had a baby they are back to their lives, (work, family, friends). No such a thing Postpartum depression no time for this, this is American thing, same thing with allergies.

Probably because my country is so poor, that women are more focus in how to feed their families than think about their selves.

Jan. 15 2010 01:56 PM
lynn from queens

Will ppd go away on its own? I did not know I should have seen help after my son was born. I was absolutely obessed with thoughts thinking something would happen to him and I was so worried all the time. Medicine may have helped. Now it is 2 years later and I know I am not the same woman as before my son was born, but I attribute that to being more responsible.

Jan. 15 2010 01:55 PM
Julie Bleha from Brooklyn

This is a very interesting and important discussion, but I was dismayed to hear one of your guests (sorry, don't remember who) make an offhand remark a few moments ago that was - sadly - disparaging about a woman's choice in childbirth: she said "there's nothing natural about natural childbirth, so far as I am concerned," before going on to describe women who, she says, have even suffered PTSD from going through it. While I cannot gainsay that last statement, I absolutely protest against her biased remark about natural childbirth.

I am by no means an agitator for forcing all women to have natural childbirth, though I had two great experiences doing that (and, I might add, though due to family history I might have been thought to be prone to p-p depression, I was not, even though I did natural births).

However, I will stand up for the process and procedure, particularly when the slight comes from a member of the institutional, medical community which - some might argue - has a vested interest (at least in the US) in disparaging and dismissing natural births.

Hopefully, your guest will consider her choice of words - or better yet, work to rid herself of that bias and bring her professional objectivity to bear on all aspects of the discussion.

Jan. 15 2010 01:54 PM
Laura from Manhattan

I have bi-polar disorder. When I am not on my meds, I tend to be manic, sometimes psychotic. Bottom line: Would you recommend that I adopt? (given the problem with going off of the meds and passing on the disorder)

Jan. 15 2010 01:52 PM
yuko from brooklyn

My pediatrician also recommended fish oils during pregnancy and post birth to prevent post partum depression. I really believed it worked after having two children. I felt much better with the pregnancy in which I took fish oils. I also think moderate exercise was great for both fetus and I during pregnancy.

Jan. 15 2010 01:52 PM
john from the office

Do third world women have these issues or is this a first world syndrome?

Jan. 15 2010 01:50 PM
csh from NJ

How often is the thyroid involved in postpartum depression?

Jan. 15 2010 01:49 PM
csh from NJ

I understand that omega 3 fatty acids and other dietary factors can help.

Can you comment?

Jan. 15 2010 01:48 PM
Jessica Glendinning from Highlands, NJ

I just recently had a second baby, a total opposite from the first, sleeps well, doesn't have crying spells, etc...but I still feel disconnected, like the volume has been turned down on everything. I don't feel sad or lonely, or in a way I would consider depressed, but more like my senses are dull. I also noticed that it comes and goes, lasting for a few weeks at a time. Is this all hormone related as things balance back out? My doctor was quick to medicate me when I asked about it-an option I am not open to.
Thank you!

Jan. 15 2010 01:40 PM
Amy from Manhattan

Are some antidepressant medications not appropriate for postpartum depression because they're passed to the baby through breastfeeding?

Jan. 15 2010 01:40 PM
Marianne from Millburn

I second Sam's ppd more common after a cesearean?

Jan. 15 2010 01:40 PM
Colleen from NJ

So timely, as I found out today that a neighbor, a young mother (of 4, youngest born last spring) has been hospitalized for a few weeks now because of PPD.

I am also an RN, and interested in further reseach on PPD. I was wondering if we know of any corresponding data on breastfeeding mothers.

Thank you!

Jan. 15 2010 01:39 PM
Gabriela from Brooklyn

Can the hormones such as oxcytocin and prolactin that are released during breastfeeding help offset or alleviate post partum depression?

Jan. 15 2010 01:37 PM
Caroline from Manhattan

Question: if a close relative has had PPD are you more likely to get it?

Jan. 15 2010 01:36 PM
Sam from Manhattan

Is PPD more common with women who have had a cesarean? If so, why?

Jan. 15 2010 01:35 PM
Reeve from Portland, Maine

Is PPD any more or less common in second and subsequent births?

Jan. 15 2010 01:32 PM

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