Postpartum depression is a difficult condition that affects more than one in eight women who has given birth. While there is some evidence linking postpartum depression to a genetic disposition, there is a lot of research to be done to show why some women experience it and others don’t. There are some pretty dramatic hormonal changes occurring during pregnancy and immediately after giving birth, so this may have something to do with it. No matter what, though, it’s important to recognize and destigmatize this common condition and for women who are experiencing it to get the help they need quickly and easily. That’s why the new PPD Act app can be a total game-changer for those with postpartum depression.
Immediately after giving birth, women often experience what is called the ‘baby blues’. This period typically lasts only a few days to a week, during which the mother might experience symptoms such as crying, anxiety, sadness, loss of appetite, irritability, sadness, trouble sleeping, and mood swings. However, when these symptoms, as well as others such as depression, lethargy, anxiety and panic attacks, homicidal or suicidal thoughts (just to name a few), occur, many women are afraid to voice their experience for fear of ostracization and being hospitalized.
Given that the new Republican Health Care Bill is threatening to consider postpartum depression a pre-existing condition, it’s important for women to be able to find information and get support when they are experiencing these symptoms without fear. The PPD Act app, which is currently available on the Google Play Store and the Apple Store and Android and IOS in the USA and on IOS in Canada, will provide women with resources to deal with their condition as well as a way to visually score how severely they are experiencing the different symptoms.
Through the use of a survey, the PPD Act app will also make it possible for women to evaluate their risk in experiencing postpartum depression before they become pregnant. Women who suffer from postpartum can also opt to participate in a research study by providing DNA spit samples. Researchers hope that, with the DNA samples, they will be able to identify some of the genetic markers that might show that a woman is predisposed to postpartum depression. In the end, the researchers hope that their work will help improve the detection of postpartum depression, to create tools to prevent it and to provide treatment for those affected and their families.