While postpartum depression is one of the least accommodated mental conditions in most maternity wards, it will be finally be getting its own focus.
According to NPR, a University of Carolina Chapel Hill hospital will be opening a free-standing clinic solely dedicated to treating new mothers suffering from severe depression. The clinic is the first of its kind in the country.
Dr. Samantha Meltzer-Brody, who directs the UNC Center for Women’s Mood Disorders, says everything in the new ward is geared to help women with postpartum depression. There are breast pumps and comfortable rocking chairs, individual therapy and family therapy. Babies will have extended visiting hours so that mom and child can create a routine, even while mom is hospitalized. It’s the kind of treatment, she says, these women should expect.
“Not in the middle of the heart clinic,” Meltzer-Brody says, “not in the middle of a different ward, but in a specialty ward that takes care of women during pregnancy and postpartum. We think that the mental health services for the people that need it also needs to be appropriate.”
It’s great to see a condition that affects so many women, finally being moved from the back burner. Research has shown that African-American women are more likely to experience postpartum depression than their white counterparts. As someone who has seen close friends go through postpartum depression without proper care, this is a great sign. According to Meltzer-Brody, inquiries about the clinic have been coming in from hospitals around the country and many prominent doctors are studying the clinic’s services for possible implementation elsewhere.
While the new clinic at UNC is a great sign, it seems long overdue. Should every hospital in the country have a facility to treat postpartum depression? Weigh in Clutchettes and gents- tell us what you think!