Essay on How to Prevent Postpartum Depression

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Postpartum depression (PPD) is characterized by low mood and lack of interest in activities that would normally be of interest to the person and they also often have low energy, a general lack of enjoyment, and labile mood swings (Perry, S.E., Hockenberry, M.J., Lowdermilk, D.L., Wilson, D., Keenan-Lindsay, L., & Sams, C.A., p.23, 2017). A study was conducted by hospital-based perinatal nurses to assess the acceptability by new mothers of PPD screening and education about community resources and to determine further screening for PPD that women received by community providers in the first few weeks after birth (Logsdon. C.M et al., p.324, 2018). The results showed that, most new mothers found it acceptable to be screened for depression and educated about community resources by hospital-based perinatal nurses,” and that most new mothers were not asked anything about depression indications by their healthcare providers (Logsdon. C.M et al., p.324, 2018). In the article “Screening for Postpartum Depression” the two key ideas that I have learned are that all new mothers should be screened for postpartum depression and follow-up care should be established for those mothers at risk for postpartum before discharge.

All new mothers should be screened for postpartum depression before discharge. The Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric, and Neonatal Nurses states that screening for mood disorders including postpartum depression should be a standard of care for new mothers (Logsdon. C.M et al., p.325, 2018). One specific nursing action that could be implemented into nursing practice is that nurses can ensure that all new mothers are screened for PPD before discharge by a nurse or another one of the mother’s healthcare providers. Nurse scientists have stated that “depression screenings should be the responsibility of nurses in obstetrics, pediatrics, and family practice” (Logsdon. C.M et al, p.325, 2018). I believe that any qualified health care provider that is able and available to screen for this should do so but nurses play an important role in detection and screening for PPD. Nurses must perform these roles and responsibilities to be able to recognize the risk factors and symptoms of PPD which may result in prevention, early detection, and accurate screening results (Elshatarat, R. A. et al., p.45, 2018). To implement this nursing action, I would use Jean Watson’s ninth Caritas which is assisting with basic physical, emotional, and spiritual human needs. This Caritas teaches nurses to view and care for patients holistically and not just care for their physical needs. This is important when screening new mothers for PPD because the emotional well-being of the mother should be a priority for them to be discharged knowing that they will be healthy in all aspects of their life.

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Follow-up care should be established for those mothers at risk for postpartum before discharge. In the article provided it explains that systems should be in place after screening for mothers at risk for PPD to initiate follow-up care plans which will improve care after discharge in the community (Logsdon. C.M., et al, p.325&328, 2018). One specific nursing action that could be implemented into nursing practice is that nurses can work together with the new mothers and their support system to provide follow-up care including education, resources, and treatments for those mothers at risk for postpartum depression before discharge. Part of nurses’ role is to provide continuity of care after discharge as they are vital in evaluating the follow-up care and resources mothers will need after discharge (Logsdon. C.M., et al, p.328, 2018). If the mother is at risk of PPD after screening, then a referral to the specialist mental health team might be necessary for treatment as it is also important to involve the mother’s support system which is beneficial (Steen, M., p.57, 2013). The follow-up care for mothers at risk for PPD is as important as the initial screening as study scores showed that depressive symptoms decrease over time when follow-up care was provided for women with PPD (Journal of Psychosocial Nursing & Mental Health Services, p.19, 2014). To implement this nursing action, I would use Jean Watson’s seventh caritas which is sharing teaching and learning that addresses individual needs and comprehension styles. The nurse must actively listen to the mother and learn from her before providing information, options, and other tools to ensure the nurse addresses the individual’s needs and concerns. The nurse has a responsibility to give the mother their full attention and to accept where the mother is with her understanding, knowledge, and readiness to learn. This is important when establishing follow-up care as the plan would be in collaboration with the mother’s opinions and views which would be most beneficial to her overall health and well-being.

All new mothers should be screened for postpartum depression and follow-up care should be established for those mothers at risk for postpartum before discharge are the two key ideas that I learned from the article “Screening for Postpartum Depression”. The nursing actions that could be implemented into nursing practice for these ideas are to ensure that all new mothers are screened for PPD by a nurse or another one of the mother’s healthcare providers and to work together with the new mothers and her support system to provide follow-up care including education, resources, and treatments for those mothers at risk for PPD before discharge. Jean Watson’s ninth (assisting with basic physical, emotional, and spiritual human needs) and seventh (promotion of transpersonal teaching-learning) Caritas could be used to apply these nursing actions. Nurses play a key role in caring for new mothers holistically which includes support for the present and future health of mothers and their families.

References

    1. Elshatarat, R. A., Yacoub, M. I., Saleh, Z. T., Ebeid, I. A., Abu Raddaha, A., H., Al-Za'areer,
    2. M.,S., & Maabreh, R. S. (2018). Perinatal nurses' and midwives' knowledge about assessment and management of postpartum depression. Journal of Psychosocial Nursing & Mental Health Services, 56(12), 36-46.
    3. Journal of Psychosocial Nursing & Mental Health Services (2014). Postpartum Depression
    4. Improves With Time, but for Many, Symptoms Linger, 52(4), 19-20. doi:http://dx.doi.org.libaccess.senecacollege.ca/10.3928/02793695-20140128-88
    5. Logsdon, M., Vogt, K., Davis, D., Myers, J., Hogan, F., Eckert, D., & Masterson, K. (2018). Screening for Postpartum Depression by Hospital-Based Perinatal Nurses. The American Journal of Maternal Child Nursing, 43(6), 324-329.
    6. Perry, S.E., Hockenberry, M.J., Lowdermilk, D.L., Wilson, D., Keenan-Lindsay, L., & Sams, C.A. (2017). Maternal Child Nursing Care in Canada. [Pageburstls]. Retrieved from https://pageburstls.elsevier.com/#/books/9781771720366/
    7. Steen, M. (2013). Promoting continence in women following childbirth. Nursing Standard
    8. (through 2013), 28(1), 49-57. Retrieved from http://libaccess.senecacollege.ca/login?url=https://search-proquest-com.libaccess.senecacollege.ca/docview/1444020273?accountid=28610
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Essay on How to Prevent Postpartum Depression [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2024 Apr 18 [cited 2024 Jun 21]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/essay-on-how-to-prevent-postpartum-depression/
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