Postpartum depression is more than the ‘baby blues’

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Postpartum depression is more than the ‘baby blues’

Durango woman uses her experience to help moms cope after giving birth
Kelly MacNiven experienced postpartum depression after the birth of her son, Carter, in 2012. Today, she is an advocate for Postpartum Progress, a nonprofit dedicated to supporting mothers after the birth of their children. On Sunday, MacNiven will lead Climb Out of the Darkness, a hike designed to raise awareness about maternal mental health.
Risk factors for postpartum complications

A case of “baby blues” is not uncommon immediately after birth, but what happens when you feel like you may be experiencing something more than that?
“A red flag is just not feeling like yourself,” said Liv MacKenzie, a licensed counselor in Durango who has helped women having problems during the postpartum period for more than decade.
She said that there are some risk factors for postpartum complications that can include:
Environmental factors. For example, a lack of a support system.Biological factors. Your family/personal health history.
Socio-economic status.The health and wellness of your new baby.Any existing medical conditions.A traumatic childbirth.Sleep deprivation is also a major factor that can make symptoms worse, she said.
MacKenzie said the best way to help keep major problems from developing during the postpartum period is to be proactive.
“If we know (these risk factors) about you, then we can prepare,” she said, adding that you should have a plan in place before the baby is born: Who’s in your support network? Will you be taking medication?
MacKenzie, who is part of a behavioral health team at Pediatric Partners of the Southwest, said that something that can keep mothers from seeking help is a feeling of shame, that they’re not living up to society’s ideals of what a “perfect” mom should be, and that the scary – called “intrusive” – thoughts they may be having are bad.
“These kinds of thoughts are very normal,” she said, but “the shame keeps people from divulging that they’re suffering.”
And when it comes down to it, knowledge is indeed power.
“Parents need information before a crisis hits so they can plan,” she said.

If you go

Climb Out of the Darkness, an event to bring awareness to maternal mental health disorders, will be held at 10 a.m. Sunday at Animas Mountain Trail, West Fourth Avenue and 32nd Street.
Mothers and others will hike to symbolize their collective rise out of the darkness and stigma of maternal mental illnesses. The climb is a benefit for the nonprofit Postpartum Progress.
There’s a suggested donation of $10, and registration is required.
To register, visit www.crowdrise.com/kellymacniven-cotd2016.

Postpartum depression is more than the ‘baby blues’

Kelly MacNiven experienced postpartum depression after the birth of her son, Carter, in 2012. Today, she is an advocate for Postpartum Progress, a nonprofit dedicated to supporting mothers after the birth of their children. On Sunday, MacNiven will lead Climb Out of the Darkness, a hike designed to raise awareness about maternal mental health.
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