Holly Powell Kennedy is the codirector of the Nurse-Midwifery Program at the University of California, San Francisco. She received her master's degree as a family nurse practitioner from the Medical College of Georgia, her nurse-midwifery certificate from the Frontier School of Midwifery and Family Nursing, and her doctorate from the University of Rhode Island.
A LIGHT IN THE FOG: CARING FOR WOMEN WITH POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION
Article first published online: 24 DEC 2010
2002 American College of Nurse Midwives
Journal of Midwifery & Womens Health
Volume 47, Issue 5, pages 318–330, September-October 2002
How to Cite
Kennedy, H. P., Beck, C. T. and Driscoll, J. W. (2002), A LIGHT IN THE FOG: CARING FOR WOMEN WITH POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION. Journal of Midwifery & Womens Health, 47: 318–330. doi: 10.1016/S1526-9523(02)00272-6
- Issue published online: 24 DEC 2010
- Article first published online: 24 DEC 2010
It is estimated that at least 1 in 10 women will experience postpartum depression, yet systematic screening for it in clinical practice is too often neglected. The foggy unreality of this affective disorder leads women to believe they are losing their minds, and their efforts to find help can be elusive. Women with postpartum depression who go undetected and untreated are at risk for immediate harm and potential lifelong sequelae for themselves and their families, and especially for their children. This article provides 1) an understanding of the woman's experience of postpartum depression, 2) a review of two instruments, developed through a focused program of research to screen for the disorder, 3) triage in clinical practice, and 4) an overview of the three dimensions of treatment: psychopharmacology, psychotherapy, and psychosocial care. Practical guidance and client information are provided to assist midwives and primary care providers to incorporate systematic screening into clinical practice, to identify effective interdisciplinary treatment teams, and to muster family and community resources to help with this commonly hidden childbearing crisis.