The American Academy of Pediatrics is recommending that all Pediatricians screen for PPD. This is fabulous news, supporting a notion that many of us have been advocating for a very long time. Read about it here, and do take note of some interesting points and discrepancies:
1) They refer to the statistic of 5%-25% for women with postpartum depression, as previously noted by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. This is validating personally as well as professionally since we have been citing this statistical range for some time now, though many statistics are much lower (10%). This upper range (25%) is an extremely high number of women. That’s 1 out of every 4 women walking into their OB or Ped office!
2) Clinicians should note that this article refers to Baby Blues as “minor depression” while postpartum psychosis is at the other end of extreme depression. There seems to be variability regarding the definitions and differential diagnosis in the postpartum community so it depends on who you read — but most experts do not include BB or PPP as part of the depression continuum. Rather, baby blues are considered a normal, hormonal event characterized by depressive-like, transient feelings. Psychosis, often confused with postpartum depression in the media, is a separate diagnostic entity altogether. When we talk about “minor depression”, most experts are referring to a mild clinical depression, still requiring some intervention, even if it is “only” supportive in nature. Baby blues (2-3 wks pp), however, requires so such intervention. Picture a spectrum where at one end, there is the baby blues, requiring no treatment. At the other end, there is postpartum psychosis, requiring immediate and aggressive medical intervention. Then there is a continuum of postpartum depression (mild, moderate and severe).
The reason this differentiation is important is that many docs still confuse the baby blues with PPD (“Oh, it’s only been 8 wks postpartum. You’ll be fine.”) and many women mistakenly believe that if there symptoms of PPD are too severe, they must be “going crazy.” This is not the case.
Does this make sense?