Frankie Powell

Carey Acosta, Lactation Consultant with Homestead Hospital, explains 80% of moms can experience baby blues, having mild fatigue, and feeling tired. She also says the main difference between baby blues and postpartum depression is that baby blues will go away without seeking treatment for it.

Frankie Powell, Patient Care Supervisor of Labor & Delivery at Homestead Hospital, points out postpartum depression happens in about 15% of births, and the symptoms don’t go away in one to two weeks, they gradually get worse, and that’s when you need to seek medical consultation. Frankie Powell, Patient Care Supervisor of Labor & Delivery at Homestead Hospital, explains the hormonal changes in postpartum depression: “When you become pregnant, you have an increase in the hormones progesterone and estrogen, and when you deliver the baby, you have a dramatic drop in those hormones, and that can cause a chemical imbalance in your brain.”

She also says it takes one to two weeks for a normal transition, and if you notice that isn’t happening, you have to seek medical consultations. Frankie Powell, Patient Care Supervisor of Labor & Delivery at Homestead Hospital, says postpartum is the worst case scenario. “It is when you feel you could harm yourself, your baby, you have hallucinations, delusions, you’re hearing things, and you’re hearing voices. This is the worst case scenario, and unfortunately this happens in one out of 1,000 bursts. It is a serious disorder, and psychosis is something that you need to seek immediate medical attention.”

Some of the postpartum psychosis symptoms are delusions or strange beliefs, hallucinations, feeling very irritated, hyperactivity, decreased need for or inability to sleep, paranoia and suspiciousness, rapid mood swings, and difficulty communicating at times. Changes in appetite and sleep, depression and anxiety, negative feelings toward the baby or feeling rejected by the baby, difficulty taking care of the baby, isolating behavior, fatigue, and problems concentrating are some of the symptoms of postpartum depression.

Frankie Powell, Patient Care Supervisor of Labor & Delivery at Homestead Hospital, says worrying about how to take care of the baby is normal, but when you are thinking bad thoughts, like ‘I want to put the baby down and walk away’, that is a serious issue. Frankie Powell, Patient Care Supervisor of Labor & Delivery at Homestead Hospital, explains postpartum depression doesn’t go away. “There’s a stigma on it. One in five women suffer from postpartum depression, or a postpartum maternal mental illness, and that is something that we need to make sure that people know and women know”.

She also highlights it is not something to be ashamed of, and it doesn’t go away on its own. The right thing to do is seeking medical help, counseling. Some women have a greater risk of developing postpartum depression if they have one or more of the risk factors, such as prior history of depression or substance abuse, unplanned pregnancy, young age at time of pregnancy, stressful event during pregnancy, and baby born with illness.

“Postpartum depression or maternal mental health issues do not discriminate on age, race, social economic issues, an educational background,” says Frankie Powell, Patient Care Supervisor of Labor & Delivery at Homestead Hospital. There are different perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, such as postpartum depression, antenatal depression, postpartum anxiety, postpartum panic disorder, postpartum psychosis, and bipolar, peripartum onset, among others.

Carey Acosta, Lactation Consultant with Homestead Hospital, says the postpartum depression is the one that most people think is the most common. “But with a postpartum depression there’s also the postpartum anxiety, that I think a lot of women experience and they don’t really pick up,” she points out.

About diagnosing the different mood and anxiety disorders, Frankie Powell, Patient Care Supervisor of Labor & Delivery at Homestead Hospital, explains the key is when the symptoms have lasted more than two weeks and the patient feels hopeless or helpless.

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