- learn to parent effectively
Kids' docs urged to
new moms for depression
By Lindsey Tanner,
Yahoo News, Oct 25, 2010
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news article adds credence to the idea that emotionally-burdened mothers can
hinder young-children's development. See my comments after the article -
P. K. Gerlach, MSW
+ + +
CHICAGO – An influential
medical group says pediatricians should routinely screen new mothers for
Depression isn't just bad for moms: It can also harm their babies.
That's according to a new American Academy of Pediatrics report
published Monday in the journal, Pediatrics. It cites research
showing developmental and social
delays in babies with depressed mothers.
The academy says that every year
more than 400,000 babies are born to depressed women. Estimates say
that between 5 percent and 25 percent of women develop postpartum
The pediatrics academy says severely depressed women should be referred to
experts for treatment.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists earlier this
year recommended similar screening.
American Academy of Pediatrics:
This brief research digest is notable for several things:
It suggests that for thousands of (average?)
new mothers, their emotional state can have a significant
negative effect (developmental delay) on their young children.
The proposal to screen new
Mom's implies that (a) average moms may not recognize or get help for
depression on their own, and (b) that doctors are supposed to know how
to "screen" moms for depression, and who to refer them to;
The author does not define "depression," or
refer readers to an accurate definition. The authors of the AAP study
may have defined it.
This summary does not say whether the
researchers evaluated whether "depressed" new mothers were
survivors of early-childhood trauma (Grown Wounded Children - GWCs). My
research on the [wounds + unawareness]
since 1986 suggests this is likely. If true, the post-partum
"depression" is a symptom of the underlying wounds. If not
identified and healed, these wounds are apt to pass on to the children -
specially if the father is an unaware GWC too.
Like most lay and
professional media reports about depression,
there is no suggestion that it is really
promoted by significant losses (broken bonds) and underlying psychological wounds. That
promotes misdiagnosis, inappropriate treatment, and family dysfunction.
The AAP research apparently views maternal
"depression" as an individual problem, not a symptom of family
This increases the odds that any therapeutic treatment of such mothers
will miss the primary problem/s.
This report doesn't say whether the AAP suggests doctors' referrals
should be to a family therapist.
These combined factors suggest that the Yahoo News - and perhaps the
AP and AAP - editors are unintentionally promoting (widespread)
public ignorance about psychological wounds, depression,
incomplete grief, and family dysfunction, and the
lethal [wounds +
Also see these
research summaries and this brief YouTube
video on depression.
P. K. Gerlach, MSW
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