Published on July 13th, 2018 | by The Post Partum Stress Center1
A New Mother’s Dilemma: Does Asking Your Doctor for Help Make It Better or Worse?
As part of The Postpartum Stress Center’s #speakthesecret campaign, author and international perinatal expert Karen Kleiman teamed up with artist Molly McIntyre to create comic depictions of the unspoken emotions that often accompany motherhood. Recently, stories of misinformed and untrained healthcare providers misguiding, and even calling the police on, women with postpartum depression and anxiety have made the headlines (here is Jessica Porten’s story). When providers respond inappropriately, lives are disrupted and symptoms can escalate—and reading these news stories can cause other people struggling with postpartum distress to avoid speaking to their doctors out of fear of the possible repercussions. On the other hand, research has shown that an engaged, cooperative and straightforward discussion of postpartum depression and anxiety will reduce symptoms and is associated with a higher probability that the mother will follow through with getting help. The hope is that this comic will serve as a reminder to moms to express what they may need to say to their provider, and simultaneously provide a guide for providers to help patients struggling with postpartum stress find the help they need.