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"It's really tough": Pandemic stresses adding to postpartum depression

Local doctors worried about an increase in PPD
Posted at 6:41 PM, May 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-27 19:41:14-04

OMAHA, Neb. — With isolating measures put into place due to COVID-19, new moms are struggling as postpartum depression numbers are rising.

Katie Elder is like most busy moms with two kids doing activities and isolating at home. And like many moms, after giving birth in March, she experienced symptoms of postpartum depression.

"Being home with a 3-year-old and a newborn is really tough. Just knowing that you can't go out is kind of the hard part," she said.

Katie is limiting outside exposure to protect her newborn baby and family from COVID-19. A stress weighing heavily on many moms.

"Postpartum depression affects one in eight women. So this is already something that is very common at baseline. And then you add to that a worldwide pandemic during a time of pregnancy and childbirth for somebody and this could really amplify that," Methodist Women's maternal-fetal medicine specialist Dr. Emily Patel said.

Local doctors and specialists from major area hospitals are doing their part to check up new moms more often.

"It's important to address it, to talk about it, and to formulate patient specific pans for how to cope with those additional anxieties," CHI Health OB/GYN physician Dr. Andrea Kinnan said.

Venting to friends and family can help and now many clinics are also offering telehealth and virtual help as well. CHI Health hosts virtual classes for new parents and therapy sessions for free.

"If you can have a group of women talking with each other on a Zoom meeting with a moderator then that can always help people prepare better," Dr. Kinnan said.

Experts agree that addressing the issue leads to the best treatment. Sometimes the hardest part is taking that first step and asking for help, but there are resources available, even during the pandemic.

Postpartum Support International - (800)-944-4PPD