One out of five or 21 per cent of new mothers who go through postpartum mood disorders, like anxiety and depression, do not open up about their symptoms to healthcare providers, a study has revealed. More than 10-20 per cent of women experience major mood disorders after delivering a baby, and those disorders can badly affect the physical and mental health of both mother and child. The study revealed that women who were unemployed, had a history of mental problems or were going through adverse symptoms were more likely to avoid reporting to doctors.
"Our study finds that many women who would benefit from treatment are not receiving it, because they don't tell anyone that they're dealing with any challenges," said Betty-Shannon Prevatt, clinical psychologist and doctoral student at North Carolina State University.
Coversely, women experiencing the highest levels of stress, as well as those with the strongest social support networks, were most likely to report their symptoms to healthcare providers.For the study, published in the Maternal and Child Health Journal, the team conducted an anonymous survey of women who had given birth within the previous three years.
Survey responses showed that 51 per cent of study participants met the criteria for postpartum mood disorders. However, more than one in five of those who experienced these did not disclose their problems to healthcare providers.
"The study highlights the importance of support networks and the need to normalise the wide variety of reactions women have after childbirth," Prevatt said.
There’s a need to increase awareness about post-partum depression. Women need to find it okay to discuss about their mental health so that they can have better access to care. People around the new mothers also need to be attentive about their symptoms.
(With IANS Inputs)