How to Deal with a Patient That Has Postpartum Depression: [Essay Example], 891 words GradesFixer

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How to Deal with a Patient That Has Postpartum Depression

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Postpartum Depression is a sub-type of depressive disorder classified by the DSM-V (Segre & Davis, 2013). It is commonly known to occur after birth, but it can also start anytime during gestation up to one year after the infant is born (Canadian Mental Health Association, 2014). It is estimated that approximately 1-2 of every 1000 mothers who deliver live infants will develop a form of postpartum depression within the first 12 weeks of the postpartum period (RNAO, 2017). This paper goal is to demonstrate how to deal with a patient that have postpartum depression. Throughout the paper, postpartum depression may be referred to as PPD. The paper will focus on providing some background information on PPD, point out some barriers to properly communicate with a PPD patient and finally introduce some facilitators in dealing with a patient that has PPD.

PPD is characterized by a sense of guilt or failure, extreme anxiety or insomnia, unconscionable worrying about the baby, and suicidal ideation. The topic of mental health seems to be avoided by many nurses; Pinto-Foltz and Logsdon (2008) emphasize that the stigma around postpartum depression is often an obstacle to the screening and treatment of PPD. It is also noticed in clinical settings that clinical- nurses seem to be more physically oriented (teaching about breastfeeding) than psychologically, and omitting education surrounding postpartum depression which leads to a lack of education on the disease and provide barriers in communication when dealing with PPD patient.

The stigmatization that revolves around mental health is one of the most important barrier in communicating with a patient with PPD. The lack of information about PPD hinders nurse ability to properly address a patient with PPD; thus, enhancing women’s inability to disclose their feelings regarding their disease. Women prefers to have “talking therapies” because they feel like it is a nonjudgmental space for them to express themselves rather than receives pharmacological interventions. Stigmatization goes against the standards and guidelines concerning PPD and some nurses due to their lack of education in PPD tend to stigmatize.

The other big barrier is failing to acknowledge that the patient is dealing with a disease that should not be generalized but taken on a case by case base. Some nurses and family members sometime feel like PPD is not a big deal because a lot of new mothers go through it and this should not be the case especially given that it is a whole new feeling to the patient and no matter how reassuring you try to be to, the patient usually feel bad about herself and guilty of the situation. Instead of making it a common issue, helping her understand that it is a disease and that the symptoms will fade away after she receives treatment can make a big difference. As this does not deny the seriousness of what she is going through but mainly reassures her that she will get better.

A facilitator to patients with PPD is health care staff that don’t allow stigma to alter their views of a patient or their condition. These healthcare workers make patients feel respected and important, without treating them poorly because of stereotypes about their mental health condition. Sometimes a person in pain just wants to be heard, even if it is just for a few moment. By asking the patient to describe how she feels and let her answer without the nurse being judgmental or providing suggestions on how to feel better usually goes a long way. Nurses should refrain from giving advice such as, “you should not be feeling this way “or” you should be happy you had a baby”. These advices do not help the patient with the pain she is feeling. Instead make the patient feel that you are focused on her and her pain, and that she is not in it alone, be a listening ear, a shoulder of support.

Another facilitator in dealing with a PPD patient is offering self. The nurse should try her best to be there for the new family. Moms with PPD can feel helpless and hopeless at times. And it is very relieving for them to feel like their nurses care enough to give them some of their time. So, by simply asking what you can do for your patient whether it is something as simple as watching a show with her, or as big as researching all the support groups in her community will set her on a good path for coping. It gets even better if the nurse can make some of the family members handle most of the patient stressors. For instance, the husband could be instructed not to use sentences that might be perceived as blaming, and he can also offer to babysit when the mom gets tired.

The nursing profession involves a combination of academic knowledge, interpersonal traits, and psychological skills which significantly impact patient throughout their time of ailment when used therapeutically. Unfortunately, due to the stigma surrounding mental illness, and the lack of education, some nurses raise barriers which impact the quality of care they provide to patient with PPD. Becoming more self-aware by not stigmatizing the patient dealing with PPD and offering self allows nurses to facilitate an environment in which the patient and newborn are the central focus of care, and can provide support, reassurance and assistance to the patient throughout their time in hospital.

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GradesFixer. (2019, April, 10) How to Deal with a Patient That Has Postpartum Depression. Retrived January 29, 2020, from
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