Tuesday, March 2, 2010
It's Baby Week on Discovery Health. The experts from "Radical Parenting" and "Postpartum Nightmares" weigh in on their shows -- and the issues.
momlogic's Vivian: Grab yourself a lemonade and fire up the microwave popcorn: Baby Week rules Discovery Health each night this week starting at 8 PM ET/PT, with all-new shows centered around the rollercoaster-ride that is parenting.
"Postpartum Nightmares" (which airs Tuesday, 3/2, at 8 PM ET/PT) shows how postpartum depression can wreak havoc on one of life's happiest events: the birth of a new baby. Featured expert Dr. Shoshana Bennett ("Dr. Shosh") has herself survived two life-threatening, undiagnosed postpartum depressions, and says postpartum depression comes down on approximately one in seven new mothers. "Many researchers and practitioners feel the actual statistic is much higher than this, since many women suffer in silence and do not get diagnosed," she says.
Believed to be caused by an abrupt shift of the reproductive hormones (mainly estrogen and progesterone) following delivery, postpartum depression can be brought on by trauma, isolation, sleep deprivation, inadequate nutrition and poor support. What's more, the lines that divide typical new-mom anxiety from postpartum depression can blur a little. "It's quite normal for a new mom to have an occasional scary thought," says Dr. Shosh. "For instance, a normal new mother may once in a while envision something scary, such as accidentally driving off the side of the road with her baby in the car. Although there is no symptom with the specific name 'postpartum nightmares,' a mom with postpartum depression or anxiety may be plagued all day, every day with thoughts like these."
The hope is that viewers who can relate -- or the people who love them -- will be encouraged to seek immediate treatment. "Those who are suffering will understand they are not alone," says Dr. Shosh. "With proper help, postpartum depression and other related disorders are very treatable. But many symptoms require professional help."