Are You Asking the Right Questions?

To physicians and other healthcare practitioners:

If you are not asking these questions of each pregnant and postpartum patient, you do not know how she is feeling.

  • Have you had postpartum depression or anxiety before?
  • Do you have a history of depression or anxiety?
  • Are you able to sleep when your baby sleeps?
  • Do you notice any changes in your appetite?
  • Do you feel like you are worrying excessively? or your thoughts are racing?
  • Are you experiencing anxiety or panic?
  • Are you afraid to be alone with your baby?
  • Do you feel more irritable or angry than usual?
  • Are you worried about the way you feel right now?
  • What worries you the most about the way you feel?
  • Are you afraid you might lose control?
  • Are you having any thoughts that are scaring you?
  • Do you wonder if you are or will be a bad mother?
  • If you are breastfeeding, how important is that to you? How is that going?
  • Do you ever have thoughts about hurting yourself?
  • Do you find it hard to make decisions?
  • Does your partner know how you are feeling?
  • How do you feel about taking medication if it helps you feel better?
  • Are there other stressful events that are impacting the way you feel?
  • Is there anything you are afraid to tell me, but think I should know?

Tips for professional and family support:

    • Do not assume that if she looks good, she is fine.
    • Do not tell her it’s normal to feel this way after having a baby.
    • Do not assume this will get better on its own.
    • Do encourage her to get a comprehensive evaluation.
    • Do take her concerns seriously.
    • Do let her know you are there if she needs you.

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