Saturday, October 31, 2009

Postpartum Support and Prevention Plan

One of the missions of The Smiling Mask Team is to pay it forward and proactively educate. To this end, we continue to speak to create awareness surrounding Postpartum Depression. We are now educating at the YMCA prenatal classes in Moose Jaw. The most important message that we are advocating for is to seek help as soon as the mother feels she is suffering.

We have also created a Postpartum Depression Prevention Plan on our website, like the popular Birth plan, this tool helps a mother create a contingency plan in case of the onset of PPD symptoms. Having suffered, ourselves, and realizing that often mothers can’t summon the words to explain how they are feeling, we created a color-code system. We also suggest that mothers choose a support person who they can call upon to apply the code. We are also encouraging pregnant mothers to flag themselves using the risk factors listed in the prevention plan and to screen themselves at two weeks with the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale. Ultimately, taking responsibility for our own health is the number one prevention tool to destroy Postpartum Depression!

Carla O'Reilly

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