According to a study that was conducted by researchers from Case Western Reserve University’s Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing and College of Arts and Sciences, women suffering from postpartum depression who also had a high-risk pregnancy would be happy to use online help if it was available anonymously and through professional healthcare providers.
The Case Western Reserve study was conducted by analyzing data collected from a survey given to participants who rated websites for new mothers. Researchers discovered that most women who may be suffering from postpartum depression don’t seek out counseling because they are afraid of the stigma attached to the condition or because they simply don’t have the time when taking care of their newborn babies.
“Mothers cannot always find a sitter and then spend time driving to and from counseling,” said Judith Maloni, PhD, RN, FAAN, the lead investigator and professor of nursing. “An online intervention is available when the moms have time.”
Co-investigator Amy Przeworski, PhD, assistant professor of psychology in the university’s College of Arts and Sciences, stated that the women expressed how excited they would be to be able to get help for their postpartum depression from an online resource if it were anonymous and run by professional healthcare workers. The women also said that they would welcome it if the site experts didn’t rush to offer medications that could be dangerous. The study was published on the Archives of Psychiatric Nursing.
Postpartum depression is a condition that affect millions of new mothers worldwide, and is often treated with dangerous antidepressants like Paxil and Effexor. Both Paxil and Effexor are also known to cause serious side effects, which can include violent and suicidal thoughts and behaviors as well as birth defects in babies whose mothers take the drug while pregnant. Some of those defects include PPHN, spina bifida, neural tube defects and oral clefts. This research may help women without having to give them potentially harmful medications, which benefits their entire families.