Postpartum Depression: A Guide for New Moms

You recently had a baby. Time has passed, but life with your little one isn't the joyous life experience you expected. Are you struggling with postpartum depression? What warning signs should you be looking for? At what point should you seek help and what are your options?

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Episode Transcript

The Parent Savers
Postpartum Depression: A Guide for New Moms

[Theme Music]

Katie Hirst: So you’ve had your baby and things are not filled with rainbows and butterflies like you’ve thought, you are sleep deprived, hormonal, recovering and trying to be a good partner and a mother. Your balancing act feels like you could fall at any moment. How do you know if it’s just a temporary baby blues or something more serious? I am Doctor Katie Hirst, director of Maternal Mental Health UC, San Diego and Education Coordinator of the Postpartum Health Reliance. I am here to talk with you about postpartum depression and this is Parent Savers, episode 24.

[Theme Music/Intro]

K.C.Wilt: Welcome to Parent Savers, broadcasting from the Birth Education Centre of San Diego. I am your host K.C.Wilt. You can now download our free app. How cool is that? So, check it out on your smart phone or tablet or visit our website for more info. We also want you to be a part of the show. If you have a question in an episode that we didn’t answer, send it in. You can e-mail one of our experts directly and ask your parenting questions. You can send us a message on episode online, through Facebook, email or you can call our hotline and we’ll get them answered. We are also so excited to announce the Parent Savers Club. This is an exclusive membership club available to all of our listeners. It gives you access to all archived episode, written transcripts of the show plus a special monthly newsletter with special giveaways, discounts and much more. You can access all this great information through the web or through our Parent Savers App. For more information, visit the website and click on the member’s link at the top of the page. I am a new parent myself. My son Carson is now 22 months old and I am joined by two new parents here in the studio.

Sunny Gault: Hi everyone! I am Sunny Gault. I am the host and producer of Parent Savers sister show Preggie Pals. I have 2 little boys, one is just about 2 years old and one is about 5 months old.

Rachel Rainbolt: My name is Rachel Rainbolt. I am 29 years old. I am a parent educator and author of The Sage Parenting book and I have 3 wonderful boys. They are seven, four and nine months yesterday [Audience says Aww] [Laughs].

Sunny Gault: He’s grown up.

K.C.Wilt: And it sounds like you’ve a lot of wrestling in your house [Laughs].

Rachel Rainbolt: We call them rambunctious hugs [Laughs].

[Theme Music]

[Featured Segments: Parenting Oops!]

K.C.Wilt: Before we begin today’s show, here’s a parenting oops. It’s a new segment we started and I want to share an oops that I had. Actually, I have a lot of oops, but there was one week in particular gosh! My son was, it was few months back and my husband wanted to hire a nanny for me because he didn’t trust me [Laughs],

Sunny Gault: Weren’t you a nanny at one point? [Laughs]

K.C.Wilt: Yes exactly. [Laughs] He was gonna hire someone who is every single day he informs and goes, what in the world did our son do? So here am I talking to my sister in law on the phone and Carson my son is playing in a…. the safe cupboard in the kitchen and so he is playing with this big plastic thing, the whole thing is plastic and it’s a little chopper for onions and whatever. Well in this whole big-o like gosh, 12” by 4” long, you know, 4 inches wide 12 inches long, there is maybe a 3 inch by 3 inch segments of blades [Laughs].

Katie Hirst: Oh no.

K.C.Wilt: Just right for little fingers to fit through coz it is to chop and grind, so here am I talking to my sister in law and he is playing within and I am watching him and this is little plastic thing that goes on and off of it, it’s all plastic mind you, and also I seen blood I am like what in the world and he doesn’t notice at all like there is blood everywhere coz it’s like a paper cut everywhere. So, he is just going on and then I you know quickly get off the phone and then I tried Band-Aids on him [Laughs] because the blood doesn’t stop going on. Oh gosh! And then this is and then I think the next day he fell down the stairs had fur and then up the stairs and then I mean somewhere around there he probably opened the door and ran out in the streets. So that’s probably why my husband wanted to hire a nanny [Laughs]. So that’s my Oops and I am sure I will be sharing more oops with you guys in the future. So, if you have a parenting oops you’d like to share with our audience, call the parent savers hotline at 619-866-4775 and we’ll include your oops in a future episode.

[Theme Music]

K.C.Wilt: Today on Parent Savers, we have Doctor Katie Hirst here to talk to us about postpartum depression. Doctor Hirst, what is “postpartum depression”?

Katie Hirst: Well, I think it is actually important to know first of all that postpartum depressing kind of actually start in pregnancy and so I think in our culture we talk a lot about depression that really only starts after the baby comes, but it is also important to know that a lot moms who are pregnant can be depressed and it’s hard when we only talk about postpartum depression because women have this idea that they are supposed to be fully of joy and completely happy in entire pregnancy and there are a lot moms out there who also feel also feeling depressed during their pregnancy. But, postpartum depression and pregnancy depression are basically a depressive episode. It’s when women feel sad or they feel like they can’t enjoy things the way that they used to. They commonly feel really guilty so, I’ll see women who feel incredibly guilty that they are not reading in to their four week old enough and really when you think about it a like a four week old you don’t have to read to them because they’re four weeks old. They feel like they’re worried all the time about something that’s gonna go wrong. They don’t have any energy and yeah when you have a new baby you don’t have very much energy but it’s even more profound than that. They also feel like they have trouble sleeping so it’s not just that problems where your babies wake you up in the middle of the night. It’s not being able to sleep even when in its night time, the house is dark and quiet, baby is asleep, still not being able to fall asleep because your mind is just going, going worrying about things or worrying when is the baby gonna wake up, how am I going to feed the baby, things like that.

K.C.Wilt: So a lot of anxiety?

Katie Hirst: Exactly, that’s a very common feature of postpartum depression.

K.C.Wilt: And what are some of the risk factors that are tied to postpartum depression like how would woman know, you know that they had it or you know have a history of it or something like that?

Katie Hirst: Well I think that women going in to pregnancy and having their baby, the most important risk factor is actually whether or not you have had depression in the past yourself. So women who’ve had depression at any point before in their lives, whether they needed medication or any therapy or even kind of just stuck it out and got through without any treatment, that gives you better twenty five percent chance of having a depressive episode after having a baby. Women who have any depressive symptoms, even if they don’t have full on depression just feeling more tearful than usual feeling sad during pregnancy on a regular basis that gives you about a thirty percent chance of going on to a full on depression postpartum. And another really important factor is that there are a lot women who in there 20’s or 30’s have their first episode of depression before pregnancy and if they are treated with medications, we have got a very good study done a few years ago, that shows that women who are on medications for past depression and doing really well, good mood, feeling great and then got pregnant and stopped their medicines, those women actually had seventy percent chance of becoming depressed again during pregnancy and going in to postpartum. So, really a lot of this is history, what’s going on in your past and, you know, what’s been going on recently. But along with all that personal history, it’s also a family history. Has anybody in your family, mom or sister had a postpartum depression or anxiety? And then I think, you know, personal stressor, so having a major life change, certainly moving across the country like, I had some women do, being away from your support network and having…..

K.C.Wilt: Or just having a baby, is it life change?

Katie Hirst: One would say, yes!

K.C.Wilt: Having a baby. [Laughs]

Katie Hirst: Exactly, so,I mean, there’s lot other things you can think of that, major life changes having a baby is a major life change. Not having social support is also a really good projector as well.

Rachel Rainbolt: And how soon after having a baby should you start like, looking for those symptoms and being sensitive to what’s going on inside you?

Katie Hirst: Well, it’s a good question because we talk about the baby blues and then talk about depression and the baby blues happen to 80-90 percent of women and this really is a reaction to the big hormonal change that happens within twenty four hours of delivery. So after you deliver your placenta, your progesterone and estrogen levels which are the main hormone levels in your body during pregnancy go from sky high to so low that it’s like your post menopause and they stay that low as long as your breastfeeding and not getting your period and so that sudden change that happens within twenty four hours after delivery, you can imagine it, kind of, disrupts your brain a bit along with the sleep disruption, you just had a baby, everything that’s go on, really makes women tearful and more irritable. I remember after I had both of my girls finding myself just crying for no reason for couple hours at a time and that was within those first couple weeks. So, that’s really normal and that’s experienced by most women. It’s when something like that continues past two weeks or starts after two weeks postpartum that we start to get concerned, so really you can have it anything that comes on within the first year. We can talk about as being postpartum depression and in reality I think moms with children of any age can get depression and we really just need to acknowledge that’s something that happens and it is not something to be ashamed about.

K.C.Wilt: And what triggers it? I mean what can bring it on?

Katie Hirst: Well, for someone in it seems that there is a sensitivity to hormone change. So women who have really bad PMS seem to be at higher risk for having really significant postpartum depression because you have big hormone changes before you get your period and you have big hormone changes after you delivery. So, that’s seems to trigger some sort of depression. But, beyond the hormonal change there is also awfully other things that go along with having a baby so you’re not sleeping, you’re completely stressed out because there is this new person outside of you that you are trying to love and care for and all the other responsibilities that come along with that. So, beyond just the hormonal change there is the new responsibilities that come, the obligation that comes with that and just the anxiety and stress that can bring up.

K.C.Wilt: Well, it’s interesting! Right after the baby is born, I felt like I was undated actually before the baby was born with literature, pamphlet are you depressed, are you this and then people asking you are you depressed and to be honest I had a traumatic labor and birth and delivery of my baby was in the nick cue and everything and I had post-traumatic stress, I get in the car and if we play the same cd that when was I going through the birthing center I would start to panic or have anxiety. When I had to go do my two week check-up where I gave birth, same thing started in fact I right now thinking about it, my arm here’s going up! Just kidding, all just panic to whatever and so it is interesting coz then it ask me these questions at the doctor, “do you feel this? Do you feel this? –no I don’t. Do you feel this? Do you feel that?- no I don’t”, and feeling fine and then of course I made steps to heal from my traumatic birth and we met with a counselor and stuff; but now my son is twenty two months old and I feel like fifteen months and I am like twenty one months, I have had this these weeks; this week and one month and I am totally down, totally out. I have, you know, we have gone swimming and my son can swim really well but he’s still…. he’s twenty two months and I have to help him to the side or whatever and I remember one time being like hmm-feature on it could be an accident. That’s not normal and that’s not normal thinking and totally scares me now I would never, I know me and I could ever get to that point of harming my child or anything or let watching him drown per say, but I didn’t like those feelings that came in and I was shocked because it was fifteen months and twenty one months and it was just the fore week, you know, and then I started to taking my maybe being regularly with my prenatal or being regular with some other something else and then I just be fine, is that normal? I mean how long does this postpartum last and can it be inner men, can it be a week here or week there, where’s that not postpartum is that something…. classified as something else?

Katie Hirst: Well, I think that where the term of postpartum depression which is not kind of official label within psychiatric. That’s really kind of our cultural term for feeling sad and depressed after you have a baby and this whole idea of there’s only a specific time period in which you are allowed to get postpartum depression and kind of that’s it, it’s not really true. Women can have periods of feeling more anxious or feeling sad or being depressed at any point in their lives and when we are in our twenties and thirties when we are having kids, is the same time when we are more prone to start having episodes of depression or anxiety and certainly I see a lot of problems come up when women, they can get into routine of taken care of their children, feel like they are doing really well and then a big change hits or a big stressor hits, and suddenly they don’t have what they need to cope with that big change or stressor and so their mood can start to get lower, they can start worrying a lot more and that could be the beginning of a depression, could be the beginning of an anxiety disorder; and it sounds like you were able to KC that to kind of kidded off with the past, you were able to stop it by launching in to all the self-care that you really needed to do. Hopeful by asking for help I realize, you know, okay, this is not good I need to do something about this. I think it’s when women slowly fall in to the pattern of feeling bad about themselves, questioning their ability to the mother, all those things that come along with depression when you are a mom that and they don’t realize it. They start to kind of think oh this is just normal, this is just kind of how I am now and I see women who have been feeling like this for months and that’s a depression. That’s really where they haven’t kind of realized it that they are sinking lower and lower and they get to the point where they were really need formal treatment, so counseling, medicine which I know we all talk about later. But that’s self-care it sounds like, you have kind of you know realized what is going on and hit it.

K.C.Wilt: Well, I think for its funny coz I……. at fifteen months didn’t recognize it and at twenty one months I actually talked to some body and she told me , yeah, after a year you can totally get bumped out and everything else and so when I was at twenty one months with the swimming episode, I recognize this is as this is not normal, when I knew that wasn’t normal, when I knew that wasn’t normal; but you know you think horrible thoughts, you know, and then middle of the night when your babies, you know, waking you up and you don’t, you know, that’s not necessary this depressions that’s being woken up [Laughs]. I mean, it’s weird and that’s being grouchy really [Laughs]. So I recognized that, that wasn’t at the twenty one but it would took me someone telling me that its okay when they are older to do it and then it took me to realize this is not normal thoughts. I love my son and I adore him, why would I want a life without him, you know, even for that brief moment why would I ever……

Sunny Gault: It is disturbing to think it is that is a parent, it’s like how did I let myself go to that and like you KC and it’s not honestly I it wasn’t that for me like just a week, its random thoughts here and there and its but it’s not all the time. It’s just like, when I get to a point that I am just like, oh my gosh! I only I am gonna if I could take this anymore than these thoughts like this swimming ideas just like all to do is walk away, problem solved.

K.C.Wilt: You know, and then you are like oh my god! What, you know, I am a horrible parent. What the heck I am thinking like, I doubt must be something wrong with me. so I am mean I guess my question is what are some of the warnings signs and we’ve talked about some of these already, but, you know, for women out there like Gosh! Is this postpartum depression are not, what are some clear warning signs that you would give moms to say if you do this maybe you should, you know, maybe that’s what this is?

Katie Hirst: Well, I can I give the, two of you are talking about something that wanna my favorite blog writer’s called “Mommy Visions” which is this kind of what in psychiatric we call it in intrusive thought or intrusive image because it literally intrudes on your mind, comes at of nowhere of either picturing something bad happening to your child or thinking that okay if this happens that be okay or thinking what would happen if he fell down all the stairs and something bad happen and that’s why you share I am gonna back up and say, you know, you first deliver I think it’s very normal for even women who are totally healthy emotional to have one or two of those images pop in to their mind of caring a new born baby, dropping the baby on the floor, something bad like that happening and if you are in a healthy state of mind emotionally you have that thought and you kind of go oh that was really terrible. I would nothing like that I hope ever happens. You know, you brush it off and it goes away. If you are more prone to depression or already kind of an anxious person that thoughts gonna come in and just like you said Sunny you are gonna think- oh my gosh, I am a terrible mother what is that mean? And it’s gonna kind of keep hitting you and it’s gonna almost stick it your brain and keep coming back.

Sunny Gault: Is it a bad thought or the….

Katie Hirst: Yeah, the bad thought.

Sunny Gault: Okay.

Katie Hirst: That thought, well first of all, you know, this mean I am bad mom and second of all this vision of something bad happening to your child or the thought of something bad; and I feel like when you start experiencing those thoughts over and over again repeatedly that’s when you need to seek help, because really having that kind of thought daily or few times a day signals to me that there is something going on that in your brain that’s allowing those to come on over and over again. That’s also really distressing. I can only imagine when it’s like to picture something bad happening to your child. I mean, that really sets you up not feel good. It’s really embarrassing though to talk to a doctor or a therapist or even your friends about it because nobody wants to admit they are having.

Sunny Gault: Well, and your worried that people are gonna call CPS on you or something like that; then you can be a, you know, true with how you are feeling and you can’t get the help you need because of that.

Katie Hirst: Exactly, I think that there is in that risk in certainly people fear you know my child is gonna get taken away from me. They are gonna call CPS because you know, because I said I am having a thought of hurting the child and then reality you are not wanting to do that. It’s your brain playing tricks on you. So I think that’s one sign and I think another sign is just as women start to feel not motivated to get out of bed, like they are not finding themselves laughing with their children or they are finding themselves constantly worried, am I doing the right thing with my child and that worrying is getting overwhelming. This sadness, it’s not even necessarily crying all the time, it’s just really not feeling happy. I talk to a lot of moms who say you know, looking back for the last two or three years, I have a got a three year old; I’ve really having been enjoying time with my three year old. I fake it but, I am not really that happy well that’s depression and that’s something we need to work on and do something about.

K.C.Wilt: Well great, thanks Dr. Hirst. When we come back we’ll talk about ways that you can get mentally healthy.

[Theme Music]

K.C.Wilt: Today on Parent Savers, we have Dr. Katie Hirst and she’s talking with us about postpartum depression. So how do you know when to get help?

Katie Hirst: As soon as you start to think, am I depressed or am I anxious, I really think that is the time when you just start asking around for help because when that thought crosses your mind that means something triggered it and I think that I see too many women in practice who have had that thought and they just kind of brushed aside like no, that doesn’t happen to me. I am not the kind of the person who gets postpartum depression coz reality is that women from all walks of life get depressed or get anxious after having children. Anywhere from immediately after they had their child during pregnancy like we talked about earlier or three years postpartum, so I think if you have that thought something wrong, I don’t feel good that’s the time, really.

Rachel Rainbolt: And KC, you have mentioned that you know, you didn’t really feel like you had any symptoms in the beginning other than the trauma and then when your son was around 15 to 22 months old, you started to experience those, I think a lot of times parents in the beginning so much of your mental energy is devoted to like the survival like, the daily stuff; that there is not really room for those kinds of things to see been but then once your child gets passed that first year mark, things kind of settle in to more routine and then that’s when a lot of starts you to realize, I am not happy [Laughs].

Rachel Rainbolt: Ok, he is sleeping through the night now and, [Laughs]

Sunny Gault: I am still not happy.

Rachel Rainbolt: Right.

K.C.Wilt: I am still not happy, we keep on saying oh its I’ll be so much better once you’re sleeping. I’ll feel so much better once breastfeeding working out okay, or you know, once this and this and so once you find yourself making those deals with yourself like, oh it’s gonna be so much better when this happens, when this happens again I think that what if you find yourself making that deal of I’ll do something if it’s still this bad then again that’s the time.

Rachel Rainbolt: So what is recommended if you feel like you need help and you go in for help or you know, are you talking about medication, talk therapies what kinds of things?

Katie Hirst: Well, I think that a lot of times women think that if they go and ask for help with depression or anxiety they are gonna just get tall twigs all off to and that’s it, and I think that keeps a lot of women from asking for help because if you think your just gonna get off from the medications and most women that I see end up in my office and are terrified that I am gonna tell them-all you can do is take medication and the truth and that’s not all you can do and especially If you get help sooner rather than later you can make those lifestyle changes I think that are gonna help you get better, faster, hopefully without medicine because;

K.C.Wilt: What kind of changes I mean, do you make?

Katie Hirst: Well, I think a lot of this is about taking care of yourself as a mother. If we are catching things early, often times some of these things precipitated by moms not having any time for themselves and I know this is you know, your listeners are gonna laugh, these are like yeah, whatever [Laughs]

Sunny Gault: Good times are for myself, [Laughs]

K.C.Wilt: Shower and peace? [Laughs]

Sunny Gault: What’s that mean? [Laughs]

Katie Hirst: But I really do think that this is when something like this is starting I mean, I will have parents come in together, so the mom and the partner-husband you know, whatever come in and say okay I am going to write you a prescription for one hour, three times of a week of alone time and the mom usually looks at me like what are talking about this alone time, but it’s really about actually starting to recognize your-self as a women apart from being a mother and a wife and you know if you work outside the house that position. So the first thing, the first step is to really start recognize I am a person, I am not just a mother I am not just, you know, uterus and a breast and all that.[Laughs] I need to take time after myself, so its exercise or yoga, its having time to meet with friends and then being honest with those friends, having a really honest conversation with women about how hard parenting is, especially in first few years; and so that’s I think that kind of early self-care that like you said KC earlier can really stop these things before getting worse.

K.C.Wilt: It’s interesting because you said an hour to yourself and I would love with that I would love five [Laughs] really.

[Audience says oh, and laughs]

Sunny Gault: Yeah, now I usually say three hours three times a week and they look at me like that’s not gonna happen [Laughs].

Rachel Rainbolt: Yeah, my kids are right outside the door! [Laughs]

Sunny Gault: So I start negotiating down.

K.C.Wilt: Well no, it’s because it’s funny coz my husband well, he is working and I am home with son and he’ll be like I was at work all weekend and the weekend I wanna go for surf, and my husband is very helpful and everything and he does and he’s like when do I get my time to be to go for surf and be with him; and I am like when do I get my time because he is doing all the other stuff and so he goes what you want, you went to a party as I am like you kidding me, that I didn’t want to go to , I mean I did but I did not, I mean I rather do something else and I am working. [Laughs] that’s not fun, well not to say I like parties, it’s fun so you know [Laughs] whatever.

Sunny Gault: You’re losing all your parties.

K.C.Wilt: I know.

Rachel Rainbolt: I know.

Audience: Exactly why isn’t a structure makes it really hard for you [Laughs].

K.C.Wilt: But you know what I mean, it’s like I am really an hour to exercise okay fine you’re exercising in a surfing but that’s you know…..

Katie Hirst: Different.

Rachel Rainbolt: I have known a lot of moms who were kind of had the opposite where they were afraid to seek treatment because they didn’t want to take time away from their little ones to do counseling or right go do counseling or further gonna tell them just like I heard so many people when I had my first baby I had a pediatrician who every appointment with her upon my husband and I about taking a date night like that was the solution to every problem [Laughs].

Katie Hirst: Well, and so I think you bring up a good point that they you know, I don’t wanna simplify things, I mean were talking about when you’re having early symptoms and even with the women whom I seeing or the most severe and in their symptoms; that is still a core part of the treatment and I actually, I am cringing over here because I do think date nights are really important [Laughs]. But you are right that’s not gonna solve everything.

Rachel Rainbolt: And they are important for a lot of people, they do help, like I just want moms to know that there is not really like one size…..

Katie Hirst: Absolutely.

Sunny Gault: Flower like.

Katie Hirst: Absolutely.

Rachel Rainbolt: Take time on your own have a date night all kind of stuff we’ll fix it coz for a lot moms aid that doesn’t fix it and for some not, it could even make it worse, I think if you, if you kind of have your own identity good instead and your content with that and you’re having a lot of trouble bonding with your baby and that’s really giving you a lot of depression then the treatment that kind of focuses on helping you with that would be more beneficially.

Katie Hirst: And that’s totally perfect. Absolutely and so and then you bring up a good point and your right! [Laughs] But in so that’s where I think seeing somebody who has some specialty knowledge in this area is really helpful because if you are right, if you’re having trouble bonding with your baby and that’s the source of depression then seeing a therapist who has specialty in early childhood years is going to be the thing that’s most helpful and in that case its bringing your baby with you and learning how to respond to him or her, with the right cue’s and become the mother the you wanna be. So your right, it is very different and I think for a lot of women it actually comes down to taking time away for themselves; but for a lot of women its same number of one maybe it doesn’t, and I think that’s where if it’s more severe we certainly do get in to this self-care but we have to also look at counseling which is absolutely the most basic treatment form, when I say most basic I mean most important like it is the foundation for treatment for depression and anxiety. This is all after is not going be the solution and I see a lot of moms, I know a lot of moms who don’t even make it to my office because they are too scared of taking med’s and for good reason. Psychiatric doesn’t have a great reputation and I might get slammed by my colleagues for saying that [Laughs] but I say it to my patient to all the time, like I get it; psychiatry is not the end all be all of for the sure and so therapy though is, it is so important and so finding somebody that you can really talk to and who has some skills in working out the different issues that come with you know, mom whether it’s your first child or your fourth child and how that relates to depression and anxiety for you.

K.C.Wilt: Particularly in the postpartum period coz you can be so isolated and then that therapy is so valuable and so effective because maybe you’re working full time and in an office for 200 people every single day single and all day long and now all of sudden, Bam! Like not only where you have in the hormonal changes and trying to get to know yourself as a mom and trying to get to know to this baby and trying to bond with his baby but also you have no one to talk to all day long, everyday day after day?

Katie Hirst: Absolutely that’s where support groups and group treatment can come in and that’s actually one of the very well proven forms of treatments. So there is individual therapy, I often recommend that women go to support groups and we are luckily here in San Diego we have a lot of support groups around town; but it’s so hard for women to get out to support group. There is the anxiety of wanting to talk about this so with the other one and when there is just you know, I have to be somewhere with my baby at 10a.m, are you kidding me that’s way too much pressure.

Rachel Rainbolt: After I had my son I mean, the kind of that negative voice that you were talking about was really sneaky and I didn’t really realize what it was, you know until I just kind of found myself crying, alone in the dark sitting and I was hearing things like he doesn’t love me which like gone one hand I knew like, that’s ridiculous he’s you are all he’s knows of love you know [Laughs] then at the same time like kind of that negative voice, I didn’t end up needing medication for it, it kind of after sometime passed and being aware of it and doing my own self-care kind of the fog lifted but I know in some situations medication really can be helpful and then it can get you to the point where you are able to really do the talk therapy and access kind of your rational and emotional self to bond with your baby, has that been your experiences as well?

Katie Hirst: Absolutely, I know that I’ve talked to, you know kind of negatively about medicines earlier in the program but in the end I think medicines can really can be life savers and for a lot of women of who are going through this kind of experience, when we look at the medication like Zoloft and the medicines in that class, Prozac things like that, that class of medicine is actually had more data, it’s been studied more than any other class of medicine in pregnancy including like the medicines you know that we get to stop labor things like that. We got a lot data on these medicines for pregnancy and we've also got a lot data on them on breastfeeding and so women are so terrified to take medicines especially if they are pregnant or breastfeeding. I think it’s really important to know where you can go to get really information about them as if you just Google medication and pregnancy you are only gonna find horror stories [Laughs] and really negative things and the other thing I think is to know that’s like, you said for some women they can’t engage in therapy because they are so depressed or so anxious.

K.C.Wilt: Yes, you can’t get out of bed.

Sunny Gault: Yeah.

K.C.Wilt: You can’t right, make it exactly like her.

Katie Hirst: Where they so anxious that they can’t stop that anxious thought so that they can’t even start to work with therapist on how to talk back to the negative thoughts or their anxious thoughts and so that’s what medication can be really helpful, if you need get out of the bed, if you can’t even get to the talk back to the worries because worries is so profound and you have got, I talk about hamster wheels and the brain women have 20 hamster wheels going in and you can’t stop one of them if you, you know, are so overwhelmed by the worrying that’s going on so that’s where medicine can really play a role.

K.C.Wilt: Thank you so much for Dr. Hirst for helping us learn about postpartum depression and how it affects us and our families. Please reach out if this episode hit home with you today. You can contact the postpartum support international at Click on the link and get help. If you want more information on Dr. Hirst, go to today’s show on our episodes page on our website.

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[Featured Segments: From Our Listeners]

K.C.Wilt: We have a message from one of our listeners, Joy on her Facebook page writes “I listen to the traumatic birth episode the other day while on our walk. I have an eighteen month old most of our birth related trauma came with a decision to have a plan C- section due to a previous uterine surgery that gave me a heightened chance of uterine rupture. We really wanted to have a natural birth but that won’t ever happen for us, still the birth was the best day of my life thankful. This episode is really brought me back to thinking about that time and dealing with a loss I feel over, never having an opportunity is to have a birth that I would like. Thanks so much for the panelist for sharing their stories. I’m loving the show so far, so keep it up. Thank you Joy! We love to hear from you guys. If you have a question, comment or suggestions send them our way. You can message us on Facebook or website

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K.C.Wilt: That wraps up todays episode, we love to hear from you. If you have a question for our expert about today’s show or the topics we discussed, call our parent savers hotline at 619-866-4775 or send us an email through our website or our Facebook page and we’ll answer your question on an upcoming episode. Coming up next week, we are continuing this discussion on postpartum depression. Did you know that dads can suffer too? We are talking with dads next week. Thanks for listening to Parent Savers, empowering new parents everywhere.


This has been a New Mommy Media Production. Information and materials contained in this episode are presented for educational purpose only. Statements and opinions expressed in this episode are not necessarily those of New Mommy Media and should not be considered facts. Though such information in which areas are related to be accurate, it is not intended to replace or substitute for professional, medical and advice or care and should not be used for diagnosing or treating healthcare problem or disease or prescribing any medications. If you have questions or concerns regarding your physical or mental health or the health of your baby, please seek assistance from a qualified healthcare provider.

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