No matter when or if you ever get postpartum depression, never forget your mental health.
If you’ve ever considered yourself an imperfect mom, before realizing it was okay, you were probably very anxious about being called imperfect. You were probably stressing about all the things you weren’t able to do in one day, had a 3 week pile of laundry staring at you and telling you how horrible you are, or you just woke up feeling blue. That can definitely eat at you and there’s no problem letting all that out by seeking help, resources, or talking to someone.
In the first 8 weeks post delivery, you may have check-ups with your OB-GYN. During that time, most Doctors will ask you to complete a questionnaire, inventory, or survey of sorts to check your mental health. There have been moms who have said their Doctors never asked.
I remember, completing multiple questionnaires for my doctor but I also had perinatal depression. That alone, made my doctor schedule more check-ups for me than most patients post delivery. She actually schedule my follow-up appointment in the hospital before I left. After completing questionnaires for the third time, my doctor mentioned medication or hospitalization if my scores continued to be as high as they were. I also remember her saying to me, "when looking at you, I wouldn't have guessed that you were going through all of that." I told her, I've been "the strong friend" all my life, so I'm used to being strong in front of people.
Statistics show that there are Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Postpartum Depression Care and during pregnancy and deliver. As a woman of color it was important that I be as transparent as possible so that my doctors can be as intentional as possible. But what if your doctors aren't as intentional or meticulous?
Below are questionnaires you can fill out and take to your Primary Care Doctor, Obstetrician and Gynecologist, or current therapist. (Please note these questionnaires ARE NOT for self-diagnosis but for your Health Care Providers records and evaluation).