There are hundreds of thousands of women suffering at this very moment from mental illnesses related to pregnancy and childbirth like postpartum depression. This very minute. Only 15% of them are getting the professional mental health care they need and deserve.
I’m not kidding. Only a small minority are getting help. The rest are left to fend for themselves.
Maybe they don’t know they need help. The amount of education and awareness offered is usually brief, if offered at all. Almost dismal, really. So many childbirth educators and OBs don’t want to upset or offend pregnant moms by getting into the dirty details of postpartum depression.
And the mamas fend for themselves.
We don’t have time to screen for postpartum depression, the providers say. We don’t have time to take social histories. We aren’t reimbursed. There’s no mandate to do it in most states. Besides, who should do it? The pediatrician? The OB? Someone else? Who’s paying for this? When should we do it? Where do I send her if she’s sick? Which tool do I use?
And the mamas continue to fend for themselves.