Hudson Valley Parent

HVP Dec 2014

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24 Hudson Valley Parent ■ December 2014 she determined that her PPD was, in her case, "a physiological/hormon- al malfunction and an emotional reaction to motherhood that fed an already anxiety-ridden mind." Dell'Amore did not use medica- tion to treat her PPD, but has not totally eliminated the possibility in the future. She has bonded with her daughters more since therapy, but notes that feeling a close connection with them was not one of her issues (though she still struggles to feel "worthy" of that bond). Her experience with PPD con- vinced her that it is an affl iction that affects women in completely differ- ent ways, and the manner in which our medical system and society cur- rently confronts it fails the women suffering from it and by extension, their families and innocent children. "It will present itself different- ly in different women," she says. "Much of what causes or exacerbates postpartum depression is the lack of proper care and other stressors in our modern society. Not having proper rest and care for the moth- er after birth is one of the biggest failings of our healthcare system for women." If something feels 'o ,' seek help The loneliness and shame of PPD has to stop, says Rebecca Wong, a clinical social worker and therapist based in New Paltz. "Post-partum depression is under-recognized and misunderstood and that hurts more than the person suffering from it — it hurts the whole family." You read that correctly. Wong said "person" not mother. "Fathers can suffer from post-par- tum depression too," she says. "It can be brought on by the hormonal changes after pregnancy and giving birth, but the fact that men can suffer from post-partum depression shows that it can also be situational." While new mothers often suffer from the "baby blues," brought on by hormonal shifts and often shaken off after a short period, and a very small percentage get walloped with full- blown post-partum psychosis, PPD exists in many forms between these two extremes. "If you have post-partum psy- chosis, you can't even recognize that something is wrong with you," Wong says. "Women suffering from post-partum psychosis are the ones that end up on the nightly news and unfortunately, that's what most people associate with PPD." The bottom line, Wong says, is that if something feels "off," seek help — and don't settle until you fi nd it, even if the fi rst few doctors you go to dismiss your concerns. Kathleen Willcox is a freelance writer and mother of 2-year-old twins who lives in Carmel. • Ultimate experience in Jewish education at a very low cost • Programs for preschoolers through Bar/Bat Mitzvah and beyond • Embracing cultural diversity and interfaith families Explore Jewish Traditionin a Nurturing Community It's never too late to make Jewish traditions YOUR traditions! Call us today! Nava Herzog, Religious Leader/Principal 845-778-1203 MOTHERHOOD (Continued from Page 23) Look for the signs: Visit for a list of common symptoms of postpartum depression to look for in yourself or a loved one. Heather Dell'Amore fi rst realized she might have PPD when she fi lled out a questionnaire for her insurance company. Send us photos of your kids sledding Deadline: December 2

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