Postpartum Depression Screening Should Become Mandatory

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Image from TheRadicalNotion.com

This debate question definitely has two opposing sides, whether we should absolutely announce perinatal and postpartum depression screening to be mandatory for all bothers or whether we should leave it up to the mothers for them to decide if they really need it or not. In this post, I will be discussed why the USPTF should declare perinatal depression screening positively mandatory for all upcoming mothers. As noted in my previous post, The United States Preventive Task Force wants to usher this notion and advocate screening for new, upcoming mothers because it will help them in the long run by treating their mental disorder sooner than later and preventing future consequences.

In an article found from The New York times, professor of psychiatry and an OBGYN at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine argues that this notion is whats best for our society. In this article included a study amongst 10,000 women who were screened for postpartum depression. Among these 10,000 women, “1,396 were found to have signs of depression; 1,000 of those were were visited at home, of which 826 reported having thoughts about hurting themselves”. Although the number is low, there is still more than 1,000 women who were reported to have signs of postpartum depression and didn’t even realize they had it. Also, these women who have been diagnosed as being depressed included they were more relieved and surprised that they felt supported, cared for and looked after. These women didn’t know exactly what the screening results for themselves were going to turn out to be, but it is a fact that they are happier that they participated in this screening than leaving their mental state’s vulnerable to getting worse. Some women stated that they thought their feelings were “normal” and “what having a baby was supposed to feel like” but, little did they know that they were suffering with a serious and common form of depression. 

These comments and results shocked researchers and make them argue for this proposed bill even more than it already has been. It is included in this article how “improvement in health care access is a huge and ongoing challenge for our medical system”. Although treatment and care for postpartum depressed can be inconvenient, it is a societal duty for us to care for mothers and their families. Having postpartum mothers continue to suffer without notice affects their mindsets, children and families. If mothers continue on with perinatal and postpartum depression, their children’s behavior will be heavily impaired  with “mental and motor development, difficult temperament, poor self-control, low self-esteem and behavior problems”. Even children growing up with depressed mothers have higher risk of developing depression in general later in their adolescent years.

Ultimately, it is up to us to care for our mothers. Women and our mothers is ultimately how we came to life and instead of letting them suffer longer, we need to help them before our statistics, treatment and society gets worse.

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