Help Available for Moms Suffering From Postpartum Depression

Getting pregnant was not easy for Meagan Fazio and her husband. After suffering a miscarriage, she turned to a fertility doctor for help.  It worked, and on April 18, 2013 her dream came true.  She gave birth to a healthy baby boy. 

The first few weeks as a new mother to baby Will were, as Fazio described, crazy. She had heard of the “baby blues” and figured she was just experiencing new motherhood and the hormone fluctuations that can come with it. 

“I felt so bonded with him but something didn’t feel right, so then I felt guilty” Fazio said. 

She started getting worse and felt like she was in a constant panic attack, with anxiety, chest tightening and hot flashes. She was also worried about her lack of sleep.

“He was a really bad sleeper and it kind of went into, ‘OK, he’s not sleeping tonight. How am I going to get through tomorrow?” fretted Fazio, who was sleeping just one hour per night at one point. 

Worry turned to hopelessness and Fazio’s postpartum depression was taking a physical toll on her health.

“So then from there it went to a depression, of ‘I feel awful. I’m constantly worried.’ Physically, I felt terrible. My muscles were always clenched, My legs hurt” Fazio said.

She sought help from her doctor and her counselor, but did not feel they understood how badly she was suffering.  After doing research, Fazio ended up getting treatment in Providence, Rhode Island at Women & Infants Hospital.

Fazio checked into a Providence hotel and attended a daily outpatient program at the hospital.
Each day, she took her son and spent the day in counseling and therapy with other new mothers who were suffering from postpartum depression. 

She said she is glad she took this step and urges other new mothers to seek help if things get overwhelming.

In Connecticut, more help for women with postpartum depression is now available. 

A $450,000 grant just became available on June 1 to expand a support network and fund in-home visits from counselors. 

Karen Steinberg Gallucci, an assistant professor of Psychiatry at the UConn Health Center and a clinical psychologist, she said 10 to 15 percent of new mothers experience postpartum depression.
She urged women to seek professional help if they can’t properly care for their baby or themselves, and if they have thoughts of harming their baby.

Steinberg Gallucci said the new grant will benefit more Connecticut mothers by bringing some treatment to them.

"So these women are getting home visitation services and then are screened for depression and then we’re able to treat them in their homes” she said.

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