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July 1, 2005

Brooke rocks the Times

Pregnant moms are prodded, measured, monitored, advised and interrogated about their health for nine long months. Then the baby comes out and suddenly mom's body is literally yesterday's news. The follow-up for mom's health is pathetic... BOTH physical and mental health (both of which have quite a bit to do with chemical im/balances, thank you Mr. Cruise!). Brooke Shields is so eloquent in her NY TIMES Op-Ed. She's absolutely right that obstetricians and pediatricians need to get on the ball as far as mom's postpartum health and start screening for postpartum depression ASAP. One in ten new moms recommend it.

Brooke says:

"... If any good can come of Mr. Cruise's ridiculous rant, let's hope that it gives much-needed attention to a serious disease. Perhaps now is the time to call on doctors, particularly obstetricians and pediatricians, to screen for postpartum depression. After all, during the first three months after childbirth, you see a pediatrician at least three times. While pediatricians are trained to take care of children, it would make sense for them to talk with new mothers, ask questions and inform them of the symptoms and treatment should they show signs of postpartum depression.

In a strange way, it was comforting to me when my obstetrician told me that my feelings of extreme despair and my suicidal thoughts were directly tied to a biochemical shift in my body. Once we admit that postpartum is a serious medical condition, then the treatment becomes more available and socially acceptable. With a doctor's care, I have since tapered off the medication, but without it, I wouldn't have become the loving parent I am today."

I'm so proud of Brooke. I worshipped her in her Calvin's when I was 12, but I never thought my admiration would be revived in this kind of enlightened and politicized context.

by thenewmoms at 10:16 AM
in baby | media momming


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