Fact: 10-15% of women are affected by postpartum depression (PPD).
Fact: If you have a history of depression in your past, you are 30% MORE LIKELY than the average woman to get postpartum depression (PPD).
Reality: Given my history of anxiety/depression, there’s a strong chance I could end up dealing with PPD.
So what am I doing about it?
Not being one to sit around to ‘wait and see’, I’m setting up my support/resource network now IN THE UNFORTUNATE EVENT that I do end up with PPD. And what does that mean, you ask?
Well, first off, it means that I’ve remained on my anti-anxiety meds (prozac) throughout the pregnancy and will continue to stay on them after the birth. I know for a fact that it made the difference during the first trimester when I was on the edge of depression and I trust that it will help regulate my hormones post-birth as well.
Second, I’ve sought out a therapist that specializes in PPD. I met with her today to establish a relationship in case I need to see her regularly after the birth. It was challenging finding a therapist that specializes in PPD and takes insurance (for some odd reason a large number of practitioners in town accept NO insurance plans). I happened to come across a unique community clinic that just started up at George Washington University. They accommodate all financial situations, so it ended up being something we could afford even though they don’t technically take insurance either.
The clinic is called The 5 Trimesters Wellness Clinic and supports women from preconception to parenthood. It is staffed by Dr. Dawn Flosnik, a Resident at GWU. Her offices are located in the Medical Faculty Associates Building at 2150 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington DC 20037. Appointments are a mere $40 for the initial intake and $10 for each session after that. Appointments can be scheduled at 202-741-2888.
I’m thrilled to have found this practice and will be using them to help put my last piece into place, which is identifying postpartum support groups in the area. It’s comforting to know that although I can’t control if PPD happens to me, I can be proactive about how I’m going to respond to it.
To the other pregnant mommas out there, if you have a history of depression in your background, consider establishing support relationships NOW instead of waiting until you’re in the thick of things. I’ll leave you with a short listing of resources I’ve found on the topic:
Resources specific to DC/Northern Virginia:
General Resources about PPD: