The Cruel Joke of Postpartum Mood Disorder
Nine months of excited anticipation centred around the joy of a new baby
instead you experience a full-frontal attack of depression, anxiety, OCD, intolerable mood swings or at its worst – psychosis!
And perhaps the worst part is that you don’t even realize at first that you have something that’s not only a treatable condition, but possibly a preventable one! Yes I actually used the word preventable and postpartum mood disorder in the same sentence.
I know some readers may scoff, if it was preventable wouldn’t doctors be preventing it by now?! Let me explain.
Dr. Katharina Dalton, MD studied postnatal depression in England for 30+ years and linked postpartum mood disorders to a progesterone deficiency and treated her patients with…….. prevention!
She prevented the onset of postpartum mood disorder by administering progesterone immediately after delivery. Supplementation would be continued on an as-needed basis after that – and is perfectly safe while breast feeding, according to Dr. Dalton. In fact, Dr. Dalton asserted that “progesterone enhances lactation, which is an additional bonus.”
Although Dr. Dalton made it her mission to re-educate the medical community, apparently some doctors found her approach controversial. So those doctors freely prescribe anti-depressants to new mothers who are reluctant to take medication.
Postpartum mood disorder is such a cruel joke, but the way it is viewed today is equally cruel. I recently read a statistic that 50% of women who suffer from PPMD don’t seek help because they are afraid that they will be put on medication. Whether that’s the true number or not, I do know that the fear exists because I have been on forums where women are talking about anti-depressants being the only option doctors are offering and they are resistant. So it makes me wonder if they had a doctor who gave them the option of attempting to balance their hormones first and then turn to anti-depressants if that didn’t achieve the desired success – what would a woman choose? (And yes please comment – I’d love to hear your thoughts)
There are times when I think back that I still can’t wrap my head around what happened to me. But I am sure that the work of Dr. Dalton must have found it’s way through some interesting pathway to my AMAZING Ob/Gyn who successfully treated my PPMD with bioidentical progesterone when my family doctor only offered anti-depressants. My own PPMD would have been prevented in fact. My Ob/Gyn did give me a prescription for bioidentical progesterone to take to the hospital and start using right away. The issue was the dose was too low and I had a misconception about PPMD….as it turns out I had anxiety but I thought postpartum depression was only about depresssion so never sought a higher prescription. That’s a story for another day….