Doctors? Nurses? Frontline Healthcare Providers? ARE YOU LISTENING?

In light of the recent focus on the inexcusable ways some healthcare providers respond to acute distress in postpartum mothers, let us do some teaching here.

Please share and inform your local resources.

**NOTE TO ALL HEALTHCARE PROVIDERS**

Some postpartum women are afraid to tell you how they really feel. They are worried that you are misinformed and may overreact. They are worried you will call the cops. They are worried you will contact Child Protective Services. They are worried you will think they are unfit to be a mother. They are terrified they are going crazy. They are worried you will not know what to do to help them feel better. And still, they come to you for help.

If a postpartum woman finds the courage to speak her symptoms and put words to her pain, please be informed. Read about postpartum anxiety and intrusive thoughts. Learn about obsessional thinking. Do your research on postpartum depression so you will not be alarmed by the high rate of fierce obsessions that accompany it.

If, for any reason, you do not feel you are in a position to offer your patient the appropriate care, it is imperative that you find the words, the gestures, and the compassion to guide her to a safe resource where she will be heard and treated with responsible attention to her vulnerable state. Unless you truly understand the extent to which she is suffering, you have no idea how hard it is for her to tell you how she is feeling and thinking. She is entitled to your best professional/clinical practice.

In light of the recent focus on the inexcusable ways some healthcare providers respond to acute distress in postpartum mothers, let us do some teaching here.

Pay attention, please. There is a great deal at stake.

Please also see our article on Psychology Today addressing this issue.

 

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