Postpartum Depression is Treatable and Potentially Preventable
Postpartum depression is not uncommon. Perhaps twenty percent of women are affected to varying degrees. For some women it can be life threatening. Women are unprepared for this. Why does this occur and what can women do? That is the topic of my interview with Dr. Shoshana Bennett. Dr. Bennett knows her topic. She suffered two life threatening bouts of depression with her pregnancies. Since then she has helped countless women understand this experience and teaches them how to recover. Even better she teaches women how to avoid some of the problems as well. Prevention is possible and treatment is available.
One of the most important tools women have are omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil. Dr. Bennett asserts (and I have to emphatically agree) that omega-3 fatty acids are critical. What we have come to understand is that we get too much omega-6 which is pro-inflammatory and way too little omega-3 which is anti-inflammatory. Most of the population has this serious omega-3/omega-6 imbalance. We have also come to understand that this imbalance affects virtually all of our tissues and systems in the body. From our brains to our hearts, from our muscles to our joints. Omega-3 affects our moods and how well we think. Nothing else has the affects of the omega fatty acids.
You cannot positively affect this imbalance and the resulting effects if you don’t change your intake of fats. More of the good AND less of the bad. You can learn all about good fats by listening to some of our other interviews on omega-3. There are many additional things that women can do both prenatally and postnatally to ensure better outcomes. Prevention and positive steps are better for both moms and babies and this is what we encourage. However we want women who are experiencing postpartum depression to know that there are things you can do right now that will change your life and mood for the better.
There are a number of resources for you. Dr. Bennett has her own website, DrShosh.com. You can learn a lot just by visiting her site. She has written several books that can provide understanding and guidance. Depression for Dummies and Pregnant and on Prozac are two of her books that are recommended. She is also accessible by telephone, so you can speak with her and even receive counselling over the phone. This is especially important for women who do not have a support network. If you need help, you can call Dr. Bennett at 212-330-8007.
About Dr. Shoshana Bennett
Dr. Shosh is a pioneer in the field. She is a survivor of two life-threatening postpartum depressions. She founded Postpartum Assistance for Mothers in 1987, and is a former president of Postpartum Support International. Dr. Shosh helped develop the official Postpartum Support International training curriculum for professionals which is now considered the gold standard in the field. She has helped over 19,000 women worldwide through individual consultations, support groups and wellness seminars. As a noted guest lecturer and keynote speaker, she travels throughout the US and abroad, training medical and mental health professionals to assess and treat postpartum depression and related mood and anxiety disorders. She earned three teaching credentials, two masters degrees, a Ph.D. and is licensed as a clinical psychologist.