Pediatricians help new moms, too

02/10/2010 at 12:26 pm | Posted in PPD, Reading | 4 Comments
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This article in USA Today (via @unxpctblessing) really strikes a chord with me because our pediatrician was the first one to notice my postpartum depression symptoms. He triggered the chain of events that saved me.

At Small Fry’s three-week check-up, he gave me a standard questionnaire for new moms. I wept quietly while checking off those boxes. My results pointed to a postpartum mood disorder.

Before we left the appointment, the doctor talked with me. He asked me questions that no one else had asked yet. “How often do you cry?” “What is a typical day like for you?” He told me my test results and advised me to talk to my physician.

Then, for the next few weeks, several different pediatric nurses called the house to check on me. They sent flyers about support group meetings and asked me to check back in with them. When I didn’t call back, they hounded me.

I’ll never forget a conversation with my favorite nurse, our lactation consultant. Listening to me sob and trying to convince me to get the help I needed (which I’d resisted  — too headstrong/afraid to admit that something was wrong with me), she used an analogy that finally got through my thick head. It’s like being on an airplane when the oxygen masks drop down, she said. You MUST put on your mask first in order to put one on your baby.

OH. It finally hit me. I have to help myself in order for Small Fry to thrive and be happy.

Thank God for those nurses. And thank God for Small Fry’s doctor. Of course my family and friends (and my own doctor, when I finally worked up the nerve to see her) were HUGE factors in my recovery. But I needed a medical professional to convince me that something was really wrong. I needed scientifically backed opinions and advice in order for me to finally seek help. I’m stubborn like that.

Without our pediatrician and nurses, I can’t imagine how long it would have taken me to get help. I needed to be pushed. And they never gave up.



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  1. Great story. Those nurses deserve an award.

  2. Thanks for sharing this story. Working in a peds hospital, we strive to not only focus on the well being of the child but to focus on the well being of the caregivers. The well being of a child’s caregiver especially the mommys is so important and I am so glad that your doctors and nurses recognized that importance.
    Thanks again for sharing!!!

    • Thanks so much for sharing your perspective!

  3. How wonderful to have concern and support like that from her pediatrician too! The analogy is spot on too. I think in general we often forget that we need to be happy too in order to best care for our children.

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