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2009 Training Event Highlights Transcript

Mary Jo Codey, former first lady of New Jersey: I feel like that it’s something that has to come out of the closet and the time is right now for it to be talked about, and to educate doctors and nurses and healthcare professionals about postpartum depression because really not a lot is known about its care and its treatment. Wendy, postpartum depression survivor: It was getting to a point that I couldn’t ignore it and it was just always there, you know whether I was trying to sleep or whether, whatever I was doing, it was always there.

Connie, postpartum depression survivor: I needed not only to learn to cope what was going on with me but also I needed to forgive myself.

Nancy, postpartum depression survivor: I made an appointment for a psychiatrist and that’s when he told me I had the postpartum depression. And then, from then on, it was like, wow. It was like bricks were lifted off.

Heather Howard, former commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Health: As direct service providers, you’re really on the front line of providing support and services to women and their families so what you do is so important and I want to, first of all, thank you for what you do. In these tough economic times, what you do is all the more important. But also thank you for what you’re gonna do as with all the tools you’re going to learn today. And you’ve got some great – I met some of the people who are going to be speaking later – you’ve got some great people talking today and you can really make a difference in our communities for women and their families. So thank you for what you do.

Celeste Andriot Wood, former assistant commissioner of the Division of Family Services, New Jersey Department of Health: New Jersey’s been involved in this since 2005. Really in 2006 is when we got ourselves together in terms of really putting on the major campaign of Speak Up When You’re Down. And that has been conducted over the past three years and is moving into its fourth year this year. Professional education has been offered in each of the past three years and today we will add the fourth year.

Andrea Braverman, Ph.D: To just understand a little bit about infertility, I’m going to talk about reproductive loss and really start off the morning trying to understand what it is that you see when you see a woman sitting across from you who’s just delivered and has been through some sort of fertility journey. … The increase in sensitivity by professionals like yourselves to potential issues such as body issues or heightened concerns or vulnerability to depression is so key. Hopefully this sends you out more aware, more comfortable inquiring, and maybe having a broader spectrum background to understand what the new moms or dads sitting across from you may be experiencing.

Cheryl Tatano Beck, DNSc, CNM, FAAN: Postpartum obsesssive compulsive disorder is one of the disorders that doesn’t get as much attention, say, as postpartum depresion or postpartum psychosis. And just to give you some of the main symptomotology of it is that women will come and they will be sharing that they have these intrusive thoughts - repetitive, intrusive thoughts - and they can’t control them. The postpartum depression impostor, this is bipolar two. It’s been given that title, originally by Schissel and Driscoll, because women can be diagnosed with postpartum depression but what was missed is the hypomania, the bipolar part of it. … One of the anxiety disorders is postpartum onset of panic disorder. So this is panic disorder that occurs for the first time after the birth of a baby.

Linda Chuang, M.D.: To collaborate involves both assertiveness and cooperativeness. Too assertive and we may lose the trust and respect of those we rely upon. Too little and we allow unprofessional conduct and unsafe care.

Margaret Spinelli, M.D.: Basically what we want to do is look at the risk of the medication and the risk of the illness on the mother and the risks of both on the fetus as well.

Susan Dowd Stone, MSW, LCSW: In mental health, often the medications that we give to women are, take a while to kick in. So in the early stages of recovery, even for women who are on successful anti-depressant, pharmacotherapy, it doesn’t seem to them like they’re getting anywhere just yet. So often in the early stages of recovery, it’s important for us to try to augment those treatments with things that women can do to try to feel better at that time.

Perinatal mood disorders are treatable. But first you have to ask for help.

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