The Mount Sinai Hospital Experts Debunk the 5 Most Common Postpartum Depression Myths Plaguing Latin

According to a recent study more than 30 of Latinas in the US and Mexico suffer perinatal or postpartum depression making it the number one complication of pregnancy among Latinas In an effort to raise visibility for a disease that is often dismissed physicians from The Mount Sinai Hospital debunked the 5 most prevalent Latino myths about postpartum depression a type of depression that affects some women after childbirth A growing and significant audience Hispanic Mothers accounted for approximately 24 of births nationwide and 24 in New York State Lack of awareness understanding and acceptance of the disease has resulted in powerful myths impacting the lives of women who are experiencing one of lifes most joyous events especially in the Latino home

Myth 1 quotI feel so bad Shouldnt I be happy about my newborn Maybe I am not a good motherquot
False It is not uncommon for women to experience temporary mood disorders or quotbluesquot after giving birth According to Kim Klipstein MD Director of Behavioral Medicine and Consultation Psychiatry at The Mount Sinai Hospital quotpostpartum depression is different than quotbaby bluesquot which is a mild form of depression that occurs within a few days after childbirth and lasts up to a weekquot Conversely Dr Klipstein added quotpostpartum depression typically emerges over the first 23 months after childbirth but may occur at any point during the first year after delivery Symptoms may include loss of interest or pleasure in life loss of appetite rapid mood swings fear of hurting or killing oneself or ones child These feelings can disrupt a womans ability to function on a daily basis and make bonding with the newborn difficult More serious symptoms associated with postpartum depression that require immediate medical attention include lack of interest in your infant suicidal thoughts or thoughts of harming your baby hallucinations or delusionsquot

Myth 2 quotMy Mother says that postpartum depression has not affected the women in our family If I speak up theyll think Im crazyquot
False Although for many Latinos mental illness is considered shameful a topic that shouldnt be discussed do not let misinformation uncertainty or shame get in the way of you getting the help you need In Latino cultures which have deeprooted family values and high expectations of new moms Hispanic women reject feelings of unhappiness during pregnancy and after the baby are born If their own mothers never expressed negative feelings about pregnancy they believe they must follow her example But keep in mind that postpartum depression is a real illness and if left untreated it can interfere with motherchild bonding and lead to serious long term problems According to Dr Klipstein of The Mount Sinai Hospital quotchildren of mothers who have untreated postpartum depression are more likely to have behavioral problems such as sleeping and eating difficulties temper tantrums and hyperactivityquot Dr Klipstein concludes quotdelays in language development are more common as wellquot

Myth 3 quotBecause of my age I am at higher risk of experiencing postpartum depressionquot
False Postpartum depression can affect any woman of childbearing age regardless of socioeconomic status education level racial and ethnic background and age According to Dr Klipstein of The Mount Sinai Hospital quotthe cause of postpartum depression is unclear It may be related to sudden hormonal changes during and after delivery Untreated thyroid conditions may also be associated with postpartum depressionquot Some factors that increase your chances of developing postpartum depression include a previous episode of depression lack of support system andor a strained relationship with your partner a history of an anxiety disorder depression during pregnancy and a family history of depression Feeling overwhelmed and anxious are normal feelings for any mother but if they begin to interfere with your ability to care for yourself and your baby it could signal something more serious and it is important to seek help

Myth 4 quotPostpartum depression cannot be prevented I just need to get through itquot
False Aside from the biological changes a variety of physical psychological and environmental factors can lead to postpartum depression The good news is that the disease is treatable and should be addressed immediately According to Dr Kim Klipstein of The Mount Sinai Hospital quotby identifying your risk factors and understanding postpartum stress you can anticipate a plan with your doctorquot And upon returning from the hospital after child delivery Dr Klipstein suggests that quotMothers follow a sensible diet eliminating alcohol and caffeine limit visitors let family and friends know how they can be of help have a solid support system and get sufficient restquot

Myth 5 quotI would rather just put up with the postpartum depression than be prescribed medications that will affect my breast milk and harm my babyquot
False Women should talk to their doctors as soon as they experience any of the symptoms of postpartum depression to determine the most suitable treatment and not make any assumptions According to Dr Kim Klipstein of The Mount Sinai Hospital quottreatment for postpartum depression may include counseling medication or bothquot Though there may be risks associated with taking medication while breastfeeding there are ways to minimize this risk and there are also equal risks associated with not treating depression during this time period Risks and benefits of treatment should be discussed in detail with a health care professional so that the best treatment option for you and your baby can be mutually decided upon

If you have experienced any of the symptoms of postpartum depression or if you need help determining whether you a family member or friend has the disease contact your doctor immediately Seeking treatment will afford you the opportunity to feel better and enjoy one of the happiest periods in a womans life For an appointment with a specialist contact 18772414983 or visit wwwmountsinaiorgLatino

About The Mount Sinai Medical Center

The Mount Sinai Medical Center encompasses both The Mount Sinai Hospital and Mount Sinai School of Medicine Established in 1968 Mount Sinai School of Medicine is one of the leading medical schools in the United States The Medical School is noted for innovation in education biomedical research clinical care delivery and local and global community service It has more than 3400 faculty in 32 departments and 14 research institutes and ranks among the top 20 medical schools both in National Institutes of Health NIH funding and by US News amp World Report

The Mount Sinai Hospital founded in 1852 is a 1171bed tertiary and quaternarycare teaching facility and one of the nations oldest largest and mostrespected voluntary hospitals In 2011 US News amp World Report ranked The Mount Sinai Hospital 16th on its elite Honor Roll of the nations top hospitals based on reputation safety and other patientcare factors Of the top 20 hospitals in the United States Mount Sinai is one of 12 integrated academic medical centers whose medical school ranks among the top 20 in NIH funding and US News amp World Report and whose hospital is on the US News amp World Report Honor Roll Nearly 60000 people were treated at Mount Sinai as inpatients last year and approximately 560000 outpatient visits took place

Date : 03 May, 2012
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