For many women, admitting and feeling comfortable enough to speak up about postpartum depression (PPD) can be very difficult. Celebrities likes Brooke Shields and Kendra Wilkinson made headlines when they revealed they had gone through a dark depression after having babies.
According to the CDC the still taboo disease affects some 10 to 15 percent of women during the first year after birth. Women can suffer from PPD in many ways ranging from moderate to severe cases. In the most severe cases, women are sent to psychiatric wards and lumped in with a population of patients suffering from many different diseases from schizophrenia to drug addiction.
There may now be another option for women with severe cases of PPD. Time magazine recently reported about the first inpatient facility, located at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, that is specifically designed for treating new moms with PPD. The new facility offers round-the-clock care and unlike most psych wards allows the moms to bring baby along.
New moms are given the tools to manage stress, new baby care, and even co-parenting in partner-assisted psychotherapy sessions. Director of the program at UNC Dr. Samantha Meltzer-Brody explains how it is such a relief for the women to be around others going through the same thing and how there is still a taboo surrounding PPD. Meltzer-Brody says, “There is a stigma around postpartum depression, but by the time they are that bad that they need to be in the hospital, they can’t pretend any more. There’s an enormous relief in being able to be honest with their experience.”
What do you think of the new facility that has opened up solely devoted to women suffering from PPD?
Do you think more states should consider opening up specialized facilities like this rather than sending women with PPD to a general psych ward?