Tips from The Colorado Chapter of Postpartum Support International

CBS Colorado

June 20, 2023

CBS Colorado Reporter: Well too often, new moms struggle with all the feelings, and they sometimes suffer from some of those feelings in silence. Joining us now to talk more about this is Dr. Jennifer Adams and Dr. Patrece Peetz. Both are members of the Colorado Chapter of Postpartum Support International. Thank you both for being with us today…such an important topic…so glad that we can talk about that. We’re going to start with Jen! We want to start with you. We know a lot of mothers go through some type of postpartum depression—postpartum emotion—so what does that look like for many moms?

Dr. Jennifer Adams: Yes, it’s a really common experience for so many moms. We think about one in five to one in seven new moms experience postpartum depression, and it looks like what you might expect: sadness, overwhelmed, maybe difficulty sleeping or eating, and just having trouble with daily life. It also can look a lot like anxiety, which is often a big surprise for people, where they might be really worried about the baby… about baby safety and health, and just feeling really anxious and unsettled and unable to, you know just kind of…

CBS Colorado Reporter: …to function right and take care of them?

Dr. Jennifer Adams: Yeah

CBS Colorado Reporter: So a little bit of compulsion, right? Obsessive Compulsive Behavior with your child…

Dr. Jennifer Adams: Yes

Dr. Patrece Peetz: Yeah

CBS Colorado Reporter: …always checking on them, so that sort of thing. Worst case scenario, we know a mother sometimes harms her baby, so how do we reach those moms? Patrece, how do we reach those moms before they get to that point?

Dr. Patrece Peetz: Yeah, so we are always wanting to support new moms, new birthers, and their families before a crisis hits. And we also know that those moms harming their babies are extremely uncommon, so between one- and four-point five percent of new moms will actually harm their babies. That’s a small percentage, and so one way that we can… We really, you know, try at Colorado PSI to encourage parents to do planning before birth. You do lots of planning for lactation. You do lots of planning for childcare. There’s lots of things you plan for, but planning for mental health emergencies and planning for how you’re going to care for yourself after the baby is born is something that we really encourage.

CBS Colorado Reporter: Let’s talk about the family support around these new moms. What can someone do that when their… when their person, their partner, their spouse… they’re around them and they see something’s a little off, what would you recommend to the people around new moms?

Dr. Patrece Peetz: Yeah, so I don’t know if you want to jump in Jen, but I think we have some incredible resources here in Colorado. The Colorado Chapter of Postpartum Support International—we have a lot of information on how this can look. As Jen described, we have lots of information on what you can do. You can reach out to providers in your life—mental health providers—you know, certainly your physical health providers, nurses, midwives, folks that are involved in birth. Then, we also have the Birth Squad Denver. It’s another program and another resource that we were able to launch, thanks to funding from the Caring for Denver Foundation. So, reach out to those local resources, because we do have an abundance of them here in Colorado.

CBS Colorado Reporter: And Jen? Just the biggest, strongest, most direct message you want to have for any new moms?

Dr. Jennifer Adams: …Just to stay connected with your partner, with your family and friends, with your health care providers. Don’t be afraid to ask for help! There’s lots of help out there, and lots of people who care about you and your family, who want to support you.

CBS Colorado Reporter: Yeah, that’s just so great! It’s such great information. Thank you both for being with us. We so appreciate it, and if you’re ever experiencing a mental health crisis, there are tools out there for you. And as you’ve heard these ladies talk about, there’s so much help for you. There’s always someone to talk to, so if you need help, you can call the national hotline number there—988—and talk to someone for free.