15 Oct Newsday Letters Page, “Friends Can Help New Moms Get Care,” by Andrew Malekoff, Newsday Letters Page, October 15, 2019
Singer Alanis Morissette had the foresight to prepare for a recurrence of postpartum depression following the birth of her third child [“Postpartum blues for Morissette,” Flash!, Oct. 8]. Sadly, this is not the case for most new moms who experience depression.
It is important to understand that baby blues represents mild ups and downs and stress that new moms might experience for a few weeks after giving birth. Postpartum depression is the result of factors that can include the shifting of reproductive hormones following delivery, sleep deprivation, poor nutrition, isolation, inadequate partner support, poverty and health issues of mom or baby.
Most women with postpartum depression are very hard on themselves, suffer in silence and harbor feelings of shame. This can spiral into hopelessness and a belief that things will never get better.
The good news, according to Sonia Murdoch, co-founder of the Postpartum Resource Center of New York, is that others can help. How? Just ask the question! Ask a new mother how she is doing — a first step toward eliminating the hopelessness that a new mom might be feeling. Ask the question.
Editor’s note: The writer is executive director of North Shore Child and Family Guidance Center, which operates the Diane Goldberg Maternal Depression program in Manhasset.